Belinda Bencic vs. Bianca Andreescu, US Open SF Preview

🇺🇸🗽🍎 US OPEN, SF match preview
🇨🇭 (13) Belinda Bencic vs. 🇨🇦 (15) Bianca Andreescu

A pair of maiden Grand Slam semi-finalists will go head-to-head for the second spot in the 2019 US Open final when the 13th seeded Belinda Bencic comes up against the 15th seeded Bianca Andreescu. This will be the first career meeting between Bencic and Andreescu, it will be interesting to see how this matchup pans out with so much at stake. Andreescu’s strong recent form means she heads into this match as the favourite but Bencic is the more accomplished player and will fancy her chances here.

Belinda Bencic navigated her way through the first week of the tournament quite easily, Bencic cruised past Mandy Minella in 2 sets before winning a topsy-turvy 3 set clash with Alize Cornet. Bencic received a walkover into the fourth round when Anett Kontaveit withdrew from their third round match. The 13th seed has stepped up her game in the last few matches to reach the final 4 at a Grand Slam for the first time, a 7-5 6-4 win over the top ranked Naomi Osaka followed by a 7-6 6-3 win over Donna Vekic suddenly gives Bencic a very real chance to go all the way in New York.

Bianca Andreescu continues to get the job done. Andreescu has become a third set specialist in 2019, she has won 11 consecutive matches that went the distance. The Canadian’s latest third set triumph booked her a spot in a maiden Grand Slam semi-final when she came from a set down to defeat Elise Mertens 3-6 6-2 6-3. Andreescu has won a couple of 3-time matches in a row in New York having defeated Taylor Townsend in 3 in the fourth round. It was a simple progression for Andreescu through the first week of the event with straight set wins over Katie Volynets, Kirsten Flipkens and Caroline Wozniacki.

I’m going to side with Belinda Bencic. I think Bencic has what it takes to end Andreescu’s winning streak. Mertens outplayed Andreescu in the opening set of their quarter-final clash, the strong, disciplined, flat hitting of Mertens got the better of Andreescu as she was able to move Andreescu side-to-side and open up the court, Bencic can execute a similar game and should be able to sustain a high enough level to get the job done. Bencic is slightly more solid off both sides of the court and seems to be in better shape physically heading into this match. Andreescu’s backhand can be exposed and her fitness may also be exposed by Bencic.

Prediction: Belinda Bencic to defeat Bianca Andreescu in 2 sets

Belinda Bencic vs. Donna Vekic, US Open QF Preview

🇺🇸🗽🍎 US OPEN, QF match preview
🇨🇭 (13) Belinda Bencic vs. 🇭🇷 (23) Donna Vekic

A spot in a maiden Grand Slam semi-final will be up for grabs when Belinda Bencic and Donna Vekic go head-to-head at the 2019 US Open. This is a huge opportunity for both players looking to take the next step in their respective careers. Bencic and Vekic are good friends and are very familiar witch each other’s games, it will be interesting to see how this matchup pans out with so much at stake.

Belinda Bencic heads into this quarter-final clash on the back of a huge win over the top seed and defending champion. Bencic booked her spot in a second career Grand Slam quarter-final with a 7-5 6-4 victory over Naomi Osaka. Bencic has won more matches over top 10 and top 5 opponents than anyone else on tour in 2019, clearly she likes the challenge of playing a top player, can she bring the same attitude into this quarter-final clash with Vekic?

Donna Vekic is through to the quarter-final stage of a Grand Slam for the very first time. The 23rd seed cruised through the first week with straight set wins over Richel Hogenkamp, Kaia Kanepi and Yulia Putintseva. Vekic claimed her most notable win at the fourth round stage where she battled from a set and a break down to defeat Julia Goerges 6-7 7-5 6-3. Vekic has won multiple matches in 2019 from similarly precarious positions, a testament to her fighting spirit.

Bencic holds a 2-1 head-to-head record over Vekic. However, it was Vekic who won their most recent match, a surprisingly comfortable 6-4 6-1 victory at Roland Garros earlier this year.

I’m going to side with Bencic here. Simply, I believe that Bencic is superior to Vekic in every aspect, she is the better player. Bencic heads into this match full of confidence after a big win over Osaka and should be smart enough to execute her game and get the better of Vekic on a surface that favours the Swiss player.

Prediction: Belinda Bencic to defeat Donna Vekic in 2 sets

Belinda Bencic vs. Laura Siegemund, Roland Garros R2 Preview

🇫🇷🥖💶 Roland Garros, R2 Preview
🇨🇭 (15) Belinda Bencic vs. 🇩🇪 Laura Siegemund

An intriguing second round clash from Roland Garros on Wednesday sees the 15th seeded Belinda Bencic take on Germany’s Laura Siegemund. Bencic brings great form into the second Grand Slam of the year but is yet to prove herself on the Parisian clay, Bencic will face a stern challenge of her clay court credentials here against a very troublesome opponent on the red dirt.

Belinda Bencic of Switzerland in action during her first-round match at the 2019 Roland Garros Grand Slam tennis tournament

Belinda Bencic kick-started her 2019 Roland Garros campaign with a comfortable 6-1 6-4 victory over Jessika Ponchet. Roland Garros has historically been Bencic’s least successful Grand Slam event, Bencic has only won the 3 main draw matches in Paris and has never progressed beyond the second round, easily her worst record at a Grand Slam. Bencic’s hopes will be higher in Paris this year after some great results on clay heading into the event. Bencic notably made the semi-finals in Madrid earlier this month and also reached the quarter-finals in Charleston earlier this year.

Laura Siegemund also arrives in Paris with a poor record at Roland Garros to her name. Clay is easily Siegemund’s favourite surface so it is very surprising that the German entered this event having never won a main draw match in Paris. Siegemund finally broke her duck in Paris with a straightforward 6-3 6-3 win over Sofya Zhuk but will face a much tougher test against the 15th seed in the next round.

This will be the first tour level meeting between Bencic and Siegemund, two feisty competitors with a point to prove in Paris, who will prevail?

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Angelique Kerber vs. Belinda Bencic, Indian Wells SF Preview

🇺🇸🌵 BNPPO19, Indian Wells – SF Preview
🇩🇪 (8) Angelique Kerber vs. 🇨🇭 (23) Belinda Bencic

A blockbuster semi-final clash from the Californian desert sees Angelique Kerber take on Belinda Bencic with a place in the BNP Paribas Open final up for grabs. Belinda Bencic is arguably the hottest player on tour at the moment as she enters this clash on an 11-match winning streak. Bencic also enters this match with a winning record over Kerber at the tour level, however the German is a proven champion who becomes increasingly difficult to beat at the business end of big tournaments.

Belinda Bencic of Switzerland in action during her quarter-final match at the 2019 BNP Paribas Open WTA Premier Mandatory tennis tournament

Angelique Kerber is through to the semi-final stage in Indian Wells for the third time. Kerber’s route to the final 4 hasn’t always been easy. Kerber received a bye through the opening round before cruising past Yulia Putintseva 6-0 6-2. Kerber was forced to dig deep in her next couple of matches as she required 3 sets to get the better of Natalia Vikhlyantseva and Aryna Sabalenka. Kerber produced arguably her best performance of the season thus far in a 7-6 6-3 victory over Venus Williams to confirm her spot in the final 4.

Belinda Bencic is on a roll. Bencic arrived in Indian Wells fresh from winning the title in Dubai and has continued her winnings ways in Indian Wells to extend her unbeaten run to 11 matches. Bencic received a bye through the first round before cruising through her first few matches with straight set wins over Alison Van Uytvanck and Ekaterina Alexandrova. Bencic’s most impressive performance came at the fourth round stage where she claimed a surprisingly easy 6-3 6-1 win over Naomi Osaka. Bencic secured her spot in the final 4 for the first time in Indian Wells with a hard-fought 6-3 4-6 6-3 win over Karolina Pliskova.

Belinda Bencic holds a 3-1 head-to-head record over Angelique Kerber at the tour level. However, Kerber has also beaten Bencic in the last couple of years at the Hopman Cup. Overall, the head-to-head record is 3-3 and Kerber has won their last 3 matches. Their most recent match was the Hopman Cup a few months ago where Kerber won 6-4 7-6.

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Naomi Osaka vs. Belinda Bencic, Indian Wells R4 Preview

🇺🇸🌵 BNPPO19, Indian Wells – R4 Preview
🇯🇵 (1) Naomi Osaka vs. 🇨🇭 (23) Belinda Bencic

Two of the WTA tour’s most in form players will collide in Indian Wells on Tuesday evening when Naomi Osaka comes up against Belinda Bencic. This match-up sees the world number 1, defending Indian Wells champion and reigning US Open / Australian Open champion take on a resurgent Belinda Bencic who is on a 10-match winning streak having arrived in Indian Wells fresh from winning the title in Dubai.

Naomi Osaka of Japan in action during her third-round match at the 2019 BNP Paribas Open WTA Premier Mandatory tennis tournament

Naomi Osaka was under pressure heading into this event and there were some real question marks surrounding her title defense after she split with her coach a few weeks ago and lost her opening round match in Dubai. However, Osaka has made a strong start in Indian Wells. The world number 1 started the event with a 6-3 6-4 win over Kristina Mladenovic, avenging her loss to the Frenchwoman in Dubai last month. Osaka then went on to produce an impressive performance to blast her way past Danielle Collins 6-4 6-2, if she maintains that level she will be hard to beat this week.

Belinda Bencic has been totally untroubled in her first couple of matches in Indian Wells. Bencic started the event with a 6-4 6-1 win over Alison Van Uytvanck before defeating Ekaterina Alexandrova 6-4 6-2. Bencic is on a roll at the moment, momentum is certainly on Bencic’s side and she will need all of that positive energy when she takes on the world number 1 in the next round.

Osaka and Bencic have never met at the tour level before. They have previously played at the Hopman Cup last year where Bencic won in straight sets and at an ITF event in 2013 where Osaka won in straight sets, these previous results are mostly irrelevant. It will be interesting to see how their first tour level encounter unfolds.

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Simona Halep vs. Belinda Bencic, Dubai QF Preview

🇦🇪🐪 Dubai DFTC – QF Preview
🇷🇴 (3) Simona Halep vs. 🇨🇭 Belinda Bencic

Simona Halep continues her Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships campaign on Thursday evening with a quarter-final showdown against Belinda Bencic. Halep has done well to quickly recover from playing in the Doha final on Saturday and thus far has conserved energy well in Dubai given she is yet to drop a set.

Halep has done well to come through a couple of tight matches in straight sets to reach the quarter-final stage in Dubai. The 2015 Dubai champion started the event with a hard-fought 7-6 6-4 win over Eugenie Bouchard before battling past Lesia Tsurenko 6-3 7-5. Importantly, Halep has been able to raise her game at the business end of each set this tournament, that was on full display in the second set against Tsurenko where Halep won the last 12 points of the match, a good sign that Halep is feeling really confident at the moment.

Belinda Bencic is through to her first premier level quarter-final since Connecticut last year. Bencic started her Dubai campaign with a 6-4 7-6 win over Lucie Hradecka before cruising past Stefanie Voegele 6-1 6-1. Bencic’s best win of the tournament and indeed her best win of the year came at the third round stage where she saved match points in an epic 6-4 2-6 7-6 victory against Aryna Sabalenka.

The head-to-head record between the pair is split at 1 win apiece. It has been a while since these two have gone head-to-head, their most recent match was back in 2015 in the Toronto final where Bencic won in 3 sets via retirement. Halep won their only completed match 6-4 6-1 at Wimbledon in 2014.

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Angelique Kerber vs. Belinda Bencic, Wimbledon R4 Preview

🇬🇧 Wimbledon, R4 Preview
🇩🇪 (11) Angelique Kerber vs. 🇨🇭 Belinda Bencic

Angelique Kerber and Belinda Bencic will renew hostilities when they meet at the fourth round stage at Wimbledon on Monday. It is Bencic who has historically had the better of this match-up, Bencic holds a perfect 3-0 record over Kerber at the tour level but Kerber did beat Bencic earlier this year at the Hopman Cup. It is Kerber who heads into this match as a strong a favourite but Bencic will fancy her chances of causing an upset.

Angelique Kerber of Germany in action during the third round at the 2018 Wimbledon Championships Grand Slam tournament

Angelique Kerber is into the second week at Wimbledon for the fourth time in the last 5 years. The German is a former runner-up at SW19 and is one of just 3 players left in the draw to have a Grand Slam heading into the round of 16. Kerber made a fairly unconvincing start to the tournament, beating Vera Zvonareva 7-5 6-3 before labouring to a 3 set win over Claire Lui. Kerber upped her level to claim a 6-2 6-4 win over Naomi Osaka and secure her spot in the fourth round.

Bencic has come through a tough draw to reach the second week at Wimbledon for the second time, the first time she has reached the second week at a Grand Slam since the Australian Open in 2016. Bencic started the event with a 7-6 6-3 victory over the 6th seeded Caroline Garcia. The 21-year-old claimed a dramatic second win, saving 4 match points on route to a 1-6 7-6 6-2 win over Alison Riske. Bencic secured her spot in the round of 16 with a 6-1 7-6 defeat of the 27th seeded Carla Suarez Navarro. The key theme throughout the first week for Bencic was her ability to get through every tough moment, a perfect 3-0 record in tiebreaks.

Bencic holds a 3-0 H2H record over Kerber at the tour level, all 3 victories were on a hard court. Their most recent meeting was at the Hopman Cup earlier this year where Kerber claimed a 6-4 6-1 win.

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Magdalena Rybarikova vs. Belinda Bencic, Roland Garros R2 Preview

Roland Garros, R2 Preview
🇸🇰 (19) Magdalena Rybarikova vs. 🇨🇭 Belinda Bencic

The 19th seeded Magdalena Rybarikova will face a tough test when she takes on Belinda Bencic in the second round at the Roland Garros on Thursday. Interestingly, Rybarikova and Bencic will both be playing to reach the third round at Roland Garros for the very first time. This is a huge opportunity for both, who will step up and take it?

Belinda Bencic of Switzerland in action during her first-round match at the 2018 Roland Garros Grand Slam tennis tournament

Rybarikova cruised through her opening round match in Paris, claiming a comfortable 6-3 6-0 win over Luksika Kumkhum. Rybarikova has made a habit of performing well at the Grand Slam level, the Slovakian reached the semi-finals at Wimbledon last year followed by a third round appearance in New York and a fourth round showing at the Australian Open earlier this year.

In her first match since Indian Wells earlier this year Bencic managed to fight from a set down to claim a gutsy 3-6 7-6 7-5 victory over Italian qualifier Deborah Chiesa. Roland Garros is easily Bencic’s least successful Grand Slam event to date, the only Grand Slam where she has not reached the second week, perhaps that will change in 2018?

The head-to-head record between the pair is squared at 1 win apiece, both matches went to 3 sets. Bencic beat Rybarikova at Wimbledon in 2014 whilst more recently Rybarikova claimed an upset victory at Indian Wells in 2016. Who will sneak ahead with a win in Paris?

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Jelena Ostapenko vs Belinda Bencic, Indian Wells R2 Preview

BNP Paribas Open, 🇺🇸🌴 Indian Wells R2 Preview
🇱🇻 (6) Jelena Ostapenko vs. 🇨🇭 Belinda Bencic

A blockbuster second round match-up at the second round stage of the BNP Paribas Open sees the 6th seeded Jelena Ostapenko come up against Belinda Bencic. This will be the first career meeting between Ostapenko and Bencic, a battle between two of the tours most talented youngsters. This is likely to be a match-up we will see a lot of in the years to come, it will be interesting to see who draws the first blood.

Embed from Getty Images

Jelena Ostapenko is really yet to get going in season 2018. The Latvian has a very modest 3-6 win/loss record in 2018, she has not been able to find her range from the baseline and her second serve has been a real issue of late. Ostapenko has only competed in Indian Wells on 1 previous occasions, a second round exit at last year’s event. The slow, gritty hard courts are not the type of courts that would be considered favourable for Ostapenko. The Latvian progressed to the second round courtesy of an opening round bye.

Belinda Bencic claimed a critical victory to advance to the second round. Bencic saved match point on route to a hard-fought 1-6 6-1 7-6 victory over Timea Babos. The opening two sets were very one-sided as the score line suggests but the third set was very close and very tense. Bencic squandered several chances midway through the set and saved match point at 4-5 which she saved in a lucky rally. Bencic was clearly the better player in the decisive tiebreak, her precision groundstrokes were the difference in the end.

It will be interesting to see how this match unfolds in what will be the first meeting between the pair. These are two of the hungriest and most talented young players on tour, expect a fiery clash.

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Veronica Cepede Royg vs Belinda Bencic, Acapulco R1 Preview

Abierto Mexicano TELCEL, 🇲🇽🌴 Acapulco R1 Preview
🇵🇾 Veronica Cepede Royg vs 🇨🇭 Belinda Bencic

Belinda Bencic will begin her 2018 Abierto Mexicano campaign on Monday with an opening round clash against Paraguay’s Veronica Cepede Royg. This will be the first career meeting between Cepede Royg and Bencic. It is Bencic who heads into this match as a strong favourite but Cepede Royg is rarely a pushover, can the Paraguayan cause an opening round upset in Acapulco?

Belinda Bencic started the season in great form. Bencic didn’t really have an off-season, instead she competed at a number of ITF and WTA 125K events where she won 3 titles in a row. However, the transition to success at the higher level has not been immediate. Bencic suffered a big setback when she was beaten in the second round at the Australian Open by Lesia Kumkhum. More recently, Bencic suffered consecutive straight set losses in Switzerland’s unsuccessful Fed Cup tie with the Czech Republic. Bencic was beaten by Barbora Strycova and Petra Kvitova. It will be interesting to see what level Bencic will bring to Acapulco.

Veronica Cepede Royg was the hero for Paraguay as she guided the Paraguayan Fed Cup team into the world group 2 playoffs with a critical epic 3 set win over Beatriz Haddad Maia. Cepede Royg has improved her tennis on hard courts in recent times, she is certainly a more aggressive player than in the past and is willing to step up into the court more often, something she will need to do against Bencic.

It will be interesting to see how competitive Cepede Royg can be in the first career meeting between the pair.

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