Australian Open 🇦🇺 R1 Prediction
(5) 🇺🇸 Venus Williams vs 🇨🇭 Belinda Bencic
Despite Bencic’s wonderful form heading into Melbourne Park, I’m going to side with Venus Williams here. Bencic’s form has to looked at in its real context. Yes, Bencic ended 2017 in awesome form, winning 3 titles in a row. However these were at the WTA 125K level and an ITF event. AT the start of 2018 Bencic played well at the Hopman Cup, but again, this does not compare to the pressure at a Grand Slam. Venus will be Bencic’s greatest test in a long time.
Venus Williams knows that she will not have many more chances in Melbourne. The American will head into this match sharp and prepared. I think Venus has the game to expose the weaknesses in the Bencic game. Clearly this is a good match-up for Williams given she has won all 4 of their previous matches. The biggest weakness on the court will be Bencic’s second serve, Venus will put huge pressure on the vulnerable Venus serve. Venus has significantly improved her game in recent times, she can serve better than Bencic and she is more dynamic and powerful from the baseline. The question is, can Venus execute her game? I think she will.
The other major factor heading into this match is the pressure. Bencic has not played on such as stage for 12 months whilst Venus played in many critical matches during that period. I think Venus will handle the occasion better and be the smarter and more clinical of the two when it matters most.