Brisbane R2: (7) Belinda Bencic vs (Q) Samantha Crawford
Belinda Bencic made the perfect start to her Brisbane International campaign on Monday with a dominant 6-2 6-1 victory over Sara Errani. Bencic will be confident she can advance even further when she comes up against American qualifier Samantha Crawford in the second round.
Belinda Bencic had a remarkable 2015 season and big things are expected of the 18-year-old in 2016. Bencic has the perfect opportunity to reach the quarter-finals in Brisbane where she could run into Maria Sharapova for the first time. Bencic was far too good for Sara Errani in their first round match, bossing the Italian around the baseline in a very measured and mature performance. The conditions in Brisbane really suit Bencic’s game, she plays her best tennis on quicker surfaces.
Samantha Crawford has already had a wonderful week in Brisbane, coming through the qualifying draw where she picked up impressive victories over Tsvetana Pironkova and Oceane Dodin. Crawford was lucky enough to draw Australian wild card Priscilla Hon in the first round of the main draw, a very winnable match. The American took advantage of the situation, picking up a 6-4 6-4 victory to set up a second clash with Belinda Bencic.
This will be the first meeting between the pair, Belinda Bencic will start as the heavy favourite. This is a big match for Crawford, arguably the biggest of her career. I suggest Bencic will be far too solid and will be experienced enough to break down her inexperienced opponents game.