Tokyo Final: (8) Belinda Bencic vs (7) Agnieszka Radwanska
Then there were two, we have a blockbuster final to look forward to on Sunday at the Toray Pan Pacific Open when former champion Agnieszka Radwanska comes up against Belinda Bencic for the title in Tokyo. The stakes are extremely high, both ladies are fighting for a spot in the upcoming WTA Finals in Singapore, the winner of this match will be in a good position to capture one of the remaining places in the season finale. A spot in the top 10 is also up for grabs on Sunday, Bencic will be aiming to reach the top 10 for the first time in her career.
Belinda Bencic has continued her stunning 2015 form in Tokyo, making a marvellous start to the Asian swing by reaching her third premier level final of the year. Bencic’s route to the final has been tough, but Belinda has been up for the challenge. Bencic started the week with an easy 6-0 6-0 victory over Yi-Fan Xu before just sneaking past Sam Stosur 6-7 6-3 6-4 in a tough second round encounter.
Bencic’s next two performances were the most impressive, a 7-6 6-1 win over Garbine Muguruza and a 6-2 6-4 triumph over Caroline Wozniacki, her fourth consecutive victory over the Dane. Bencic has a wonderful record against top 10 players in 2015, Bencic is 8 wins and 2 losses against the world’s top 10, an outstanding effort. Bencic will be confident heading into the final given she has already beaten Radwanska in a final this year.
Agnieszka Radwanska often saves some of her best tennis for the Asian swing, it looks like 2015 will be no different. The Pole has breezed through the draw in Tokyo without dropping a set to reach her third career final at the event. Radwanska will be aiming to win the same title twice for the very first time in her career on Sunday.
Radwanska’s route to the final hasn’t been easy, the Pole has picked up straight set victories over CoCo Vandeweghe, Elina Svitolina, Karolina Pliskova and Dominika Cibulkova, all potentially dangerous opponents. Radwanska’s semi-final victory over Dominika Cibulkova was particularly impressive, Radwanska was at her magical best, moving exceptionally well around the court and coming up with some ridiculous winners.
The only previous encounter between Bencic and Radwanska took place earlier this year in the final at Eastbourne, Bencic prevailed 6-4 4-6 6-0 to claim her maiden WTA title. The first two sets were quite even but Radwanska really fell away in the final set and Bencic stormed to the finish line. Radwanska will be desperate to avenge her loss to Bencic and pick up her first title of the year, it has been a while Radwanska went a whole season without winning a title.
This is a very even match-up, these two have very similar games. Radwanska and Bencic are two of the best movers on tour and two of the most consistent hitters from the baseline. Both players are at their best when they are striking the ball early, the winner of this match will be whoever can execute their game in the important moments. I’m going to side with Radwanska, she has been in awesome form this week and looks destined to claim her first title of the year.
Prediction: Agnieszka Radwanska to defeat Belinda Bencic in 2 sets