Tokyo QF #2: (3) Garbine Muguruza vs (8) Belinda Bencic
A very exciting quarter-final clash at the Toray Pan Pacific Open sees the two most promising young stars on the tour go head-to-head, Garbine Muguruza and Belinda Bencic. This will be the very first meeting between the pair, adding to the intrigue of this match-up. This is a critical match for both ladies chances of reaching the WTA Finals in Singapore, both are on the verge of their very first appearance at the prestigious season finale.
Garbine Muguruza’s North American summer was extremely disappointing, especially considering how well she played on route to the final at Wimbledon. Garbine will be aiming to put the disappointment behind her and end the season on a high. After receiving a bye into the second round, the Spaniard made a good start to her Asian swing with a 6-3 6-4 victory over Barbora Strycova. It was a critical win for Garbine who played the important points well, saving five break points in the very last game before closing out the match.
Belinda Bencic continues to solidify her spot in the top 20, the Swiss rising star in now on the verge of reaching the top 10 for the first time. Belinda made an emphatic start to her Tokyo campaign, recording a crushing 6-0 6-0 victory over Yi-Fan Xu in the first round. Belinda’s second round victory was a much greater contest, the 18-year-old fought past Sam Stosur to clinch a 6-7 6-3 6-4 win. It was a very mature performance by Bencic, she dealt with the disappointment of losing an extremely tight first set very well and remained composed at the end of the match to close out an impressive win.
This will be the first career encounter between Garbine and Belinda, it is very hard to separate the two heading into this match. Bencic certainly enters this match with the greater form, however Garbine’s powerful game should match-up well against Bencic. The Spaniard usually handles match-up’s like this really well and I suspect she will emerge victorious on Friday, she is certainly due for a big win and seems to enjoy the conditions in Tokyo.