There’s a new face in women's tennis and it belongs to an 18-year old Swiss. Belinda Bencic stunned World No.1 Serena Williams in a thrilling three-set semifinal match to set up her first Premier 5 Event Final against World No.3 Simona Halep from Romania.
The last time Bencic met Williams was in 2014 at the Madrid Open where she lost 6-2, 6-0 to the powerful American. Fast forward one year later and Bencic will no doubt have her name thrown around conversations as one to watch in women’s tennis.
Even more impressive has been the road that Bencic fought through to reach this year’s Rogers Cup Final. She started out with a win over Canada’s Eugenie Bouchard. Next, she took on No. 4 seed Caroline Wozniacki whom she derailed quickly in straight sets. Then, in the third round she dismantled German Sabine Lisicki in three sets. Immediately after in the quarterfinals, she blew right passed the No. 5 seed Ana Ivanovic in a quick straight set victory. And then she defeated Williams who, up until meeting Bencic, had only lost one match all year.
All this being said, does Bencic really have a chance to beat Halep in Sunday’s Final? The truth….we certainly think so. The only thing the young gun doesn’t have going for her is experience at this stage in a high profile tournament. However, it’s really hard to forget that she didn’t have much experience before outing a couple of the top women in tennis on her way here. In quick summary, the Swiss has game. She returns and serves well. When her opponents give her break point chances she can capitalize and has shown the mental fortitude to hold serve afterwards. The scariest thing about Bencic though is her incredible progression after just one year of losing to some of the players she beat at this event. Just a year ago she lost to Ivanovic 6-2, 6-1 and lost to Wozniacki 6-0, 6-0. Today, she is now a dangerous opponent.
Let’s not get too carried away though. Halep is no chump. She’s not World No. 1, but she has enough skill to take out even Serena Williams when she wants to. Halep’s always been her own worst enemy. Like anybody else when she’s playing with confidence she’s a tough obstacle to overcome, but the minute she gets rattled everything can fall apart. Against Bencic she’ll have to stay aggressive dictating play. The strategy of letting an inexperienced player psych herself’ out because of the magnitude of the situation has not been a strategy that has worked well against Bencic. Bencic is not afraid to take risks. Should Halep take her gas off the foot pedal this one could slip away from her.
Overall, if Bencic continues to play the way she has we can’t see any reason why she can’t hoist the trophy at Sunday’s Final. Moreover, is that the odds overwhelmingly favor Halep making it pretty worthless to take her as an outright winner. That’s why on this day we like taking the underdog Belinda Bencic as the outright winner.
How They Got Here
- First round: def. Eugenie Bouchard 6-0, 5-7, 6-2
- Second round: def. Caroline Wozniacki 7-5, 7-5
- Third round: def. Sabine Lisicki 6-1, 1-6, 7-6(3)
- Quarterfinals: def. Ana Ivanovic 6-4, 6-2
- Semifinals: def. Serena Williams 3-6, 7-5, 6-4
- First round: Bye
- Second round: def. Jelena Jankovic 6-3, 6-4
- Third round: def. Angelique Kerber 6-3, 5-7, 6-4
- Quarterfinals: def. Agnieszka Radwanska 0-6, 6-3, 6-1
- Semifinals: def. Sara Errani 6-4, 6-4
|Games Under 21.5||4/5|
|Games Over 21.5||24/25|
|Sets Under 2.5||4/5|
|Sets Over 2.5||24/25|