Cincinnati R1: (11) Angelique Kerber vs Belinda Bencic
The pick of the first round matches at the 2015 Western & Southern Open sees the Stanford Champion: Angelique Kerber take on the Toronto Champion: Belinda Bencic. This is a brutal first round draw for both ladies and promises to be high quality encounter between two of the tours most in form players heading into the U.S Open.
Angelique Kerber started her U.S Open series in sublime fashion at the Bank of the West Classic a couple of week ago. The German defeated Daria Gavrilova, Agnieszka Radwanska, Elina Svitolina and Karolina Pliskova on route to her 4th premier level title of the year.
Kerber made a promising start in Toronto, picking up comfortable straight set victories over Doi and Puig however she would ultimately succumb to Simona Halep in an epic third round encounter. Angie seemed to run out of gas in her loss to Halep, after a couple of days off and some solid preparation in Cincinnati, Angie will be ready to compete at the highest level this week.
Belinda Bencic arrives in Cincinnati full of confidence having claimed the biggest title of her career at the Rogers Cup in Toronto last week. It was a fairy take week for the 18-year-old who picked up 6 impressive victories on route to her second title of the year, defeating Eugenie Bouchard, Caroline Wozniacki, Sabine Lisicki, Ana Ivanovic, Serena Williams and Simona Halep. An outstanding achievement.
Bencic has proved that all hype surrounding her game is certainly warranted, her all-court game and mental toughness promises to take her to the top of the game in the coming years. Belinda is now up to 12th in the live rankings and could find herself in the top 10 by the end of the year.
In their only previous encounter, Bencic famously upset Kerber in the third round at last year’s U.S Open, claiming a 6-1 7-5 victory over the German with some superb tennis.
These two are very evenly matches, similarly effective serves and similarly effective all-court games for the baseline. The clear difference heading into this match is that Angie will far fresher and should be better prepared for this one and will be desperate to avenge her loss to Bencic in New York last year. It will be tough for Bencic to compete at such a high level with little rest time after claiming the title in Toronto last week, Angie for the win.