Cincinnati R2: Belinda Bencic vs Flavia Pennetta
Belinda Bencic will be looking to pick up her eighth win in a row when she comes up against Flavia Pennetta in the second round at the Western & Southern Open on Wednesday.
After beating 4 top 10 players (Williams, Halep, Wozniacki & Ivanovic) on route to the biggest title of her career last week at the Rogers Cup, Belinda Bencic advanced to the second round in Cincinnati for the very first time in her career with an impressive 7-5 6-3 victory over Angelique Kerber. In a battle of two of the most in form players on tour, it was Bencic who seemed more focused and surprisingly more energetic. Bencic remained solid for most of the match whilst Angie seemed to check out of the match at stages, especially at the end of the second set.
Flavia Pennetta advanced to the second round with a hard fought 7-5 6-2 over Dominika Cibulkova, her sixth consecutive victory over the Slovakian. Pennetta’s ability to play the big points well was the difference in this one, the Italian saved 14 of 16 break points, an impressive effort against one of the best returners on tour.
In their only previous encounter, Flavia Pennetta defeated Bencic 6-2 2-6 6-3 in Rome last year. Bencic has improved significantly since that match and she will extremely confident heading into this one. The biggest question mark heading into this match is how much energy does Bencic has left in the tank? Bencic has played 7 matches in a week and a bit and could hit a wall at any stage. There have been no signs of Bencic running out of energy so I think her winning streak will continue on Wednesday. Pennetta hasn’t picked up any notable victories of late and will find it difficult to hit through Bencic.