Belinda Bencic vs Simona Halep, Toronto Final Preview

Toronto Final: Belinda Bencic vs (2) (wc) Simona Halep

Belinda Bencic served up one of the biggest upsets in recent years, coming from a set down to defeat Serena Williams, setting up an intriguing final against Simona Halep on Sunday at the Rogers Cup.

Belinda Bencic’s run to the final at the Rogers Cup has been magical, she certainly hasn’t benefited from an easy draw.  The 18-year-old has defeated Eugenie Bouchard, Caroline Wozniacki, Sabine Lisicki, Ana Ivanovic and Serena Williams on route to the final, an incredible accomplishment for the rising star.

 

Belinda’s 3-6 7-5 6-4 victory over the world number 1 on Saturday night was undoubtedly her biggest victory to date. Serena raced through the first set, it looked like another routine victory for the American. However Bencic had other ideas, raising her level midway through the second set before eventually forcing a decider.

Bencic quickly opened up a 5-1 lead in the third but twice failed to serve out the match as Williams threatened a comeback, winning three games in a row.  Bencic couldn’t serve it out but she played a smart return game at 5-4, finally securing the historic victory with a sublime backhand winner. Bencic has shown this week that all the hype is warranted, she is the real deal.

 

Simona Halep’s progression to the final in Toronto has also been impressive. The Romanian has picked up victories over Jelena Jankovic, Angelique Kerber, Agnieszka Radwanska and Sara Errani, four worthy opponents. A perfect start to Simona’s U.S Open series.

Simona advanced to her fourth final of the year courtesy of a tough 6-4 6-4 victory over Sara Errani. The world number 3 got off to a slow start but eventually started to get on top of her opponent, much to the delight of the strong Romanian support in the crowd. Halep was too powerful for Errani from the baseline, coming up with 17 more winners than the Italian.

 

In their only previous encounter, Simona Halep defeated Bencic 6-4 6-1 at Wimbledon last year. Belinda Bencic will be confident that she can avenge that result and pick up the biggest title of her career on Sunday. Bencic lost her first encounter against Wozniacki, Ivanovic, Lisicki and Williams but has avenged all of those losses this week, making her run to the final even more impressive.

This is a very even matchup, we can expect to see a very physical match between two of the best movers on the tour. I’m going to give the slight edge to Bencic, she is riding a wave of confidence at the moment and deserves a fairy tale ending to the week. Halep admitted that she was exhausted after her victory over Errani, I’m not sure that she has enough left in the tank to defeated a rock-solid Bencic. Bencic still looks fresh, this is Belinda’s moment.

Prediction: Belinda Bencic to defeat Simona Halep in 3 sets

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