Serena Williams vs Belinda Bencic, Australian Open R1 Preview

Australian Open, ?? First Round Match Preview
(2) ?? Serena Williams vs ?? Belinda Bencic

The standout first round match at the 2017 Australian Open on the women’s side sees 6-time former champion Serena Williams come up against Belinda Bencic. The Swiss 19-year-old is arguably the most dangerous unseeded player in the draw and has been dealt the most brutal first round clash, coming up against the greatest player of all time. Bencic will come into this match with some confidence having won the most recent meeting between the pair but Serena will be desperate for revenge on route to her quest for glory.

Serena Williams is going for history at the Grand Slams in 2017. The American currently holds 22 Grand Slam titles, equal first in the open era alongside Steffi Graff. Williams will be desperate to get to 23 and then set her sight on Margaret Court’s record of 24 Grand Slam titles. Williams enters 2017 with less pressure on her than recent years. Williams is no longer number 1 in the world after Kerber surpassed her in 2017, Serena is no longer considered an automatic winner heading into tournaments. These factors will all motivate Serena in 2017, I believe she will come back strong and once again prove that she is greatest player of all time.

Belinda Bencic has a poor 2016, mainly due to consistent problems with injury, as a result the 19-year-olds ranking slipped outside the top 40 and thus she is not seeded at the first Slam of the year. Bencic started the season at the Hopman Cup were her results weren’t great, she then went on to play in Sydney where she was forced to retire injured from her first round match (toenail injury). Bencic made it to the fourth round last year in Melbourne, her best result at the Australian Open, so she will lose further points if she can’t cause a huge upset on Tuesday afternoon.

The head-to-head record between Williams and Bencic is split at 1 win apiece. Williams thrashed Bencic in straight sets in Madrid, Bencic stunned Williams at the semi-final stage of the Rogers Cup 6-3 5-7 4-6. Despite that result, I feel like Bencic isn’t a great threat to a focused Williams. Bencic does not have a good return of serve, often struggling against big servers and doesn’t really have big weapons to put too much pressure on Williams. Serena has been in Melbourne preparing for a good amount of time and will be very focused heading into this match, I suspect Serena will come through quite comfortably.

Prediction: Serena Williams to defeat Belinda Bencic in 2 sets

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0 responses to “Serena Williams vs Belinda Bencic, Australian Open R1 Preview”

  1. Serena is going into this year’s Australian Open with less pressure than last year. She’s ranked #2 and tied Steffi Graf’s record of 22 Grand Slam titles. She doesn’t have to defend as many points as world #1 Kerber does. After FINALLY winning Grand Slam title #22 at Wimbledon last year, I believe that Serena can play more relaxed tennis, moving forward now. Even though Belinda Bencic did beat Serena in Toronto in 2015, she has had a significant dip in form, because of injuries. Bencic is also coming into this tournament, with a toe injury. Even though Serena lost in the second round in Auckland, she immediately flew down to Melbourne to start preparing for this tournament. My prediction is that even though Bencic will put up a good fight, Serena will take this match in two sets.

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