Toronto SF #2: (1) Serena Williams vs Belinda Bencic
The second semi-final at Rogers Cup in Toronto promises to be a beauty as the three-time former champion and current world number 1 Serena Williams comes up against 18-year-old rising star Belinda Bencic.
Serena Williams has continued on her merry way in Toronto. The American made a sluggish start to her campaign in the first round, coming from a set down to defeat Andrea Petkovic. The world number 1 has been much more convincing in her next two victories, defeating Andrea Petkovic and Roberta Vinci in straight sets. Serena was challenged by Vinci, the Italian played a gutsy match but Serena’s serve and determination were ultimately too much for Roberta to handle.
Belinda Bencic counties to rise up the ranks on the WTA tour. The 18-year-old is now into the biggest semi-final of her career and is up to 16th in the live rankings. Bencic has overcome four quality opponents on route to the final four, three Grand Slam finalists and a former Grand Slam Champion.
Bencic advanced to the final four with an extremely impressive 6-4 6-2 victory over Ana Ivanovic. It was a quality performance by Belinda, who hit 27 winners to just 14 unforced errors, combined with a high first serve percentage and success at the net. Bencic will come into this match full of confidence and with nothing to lose, it will be interesting to see if she can really take it up to the world number 1.
In their only previous encounter, Serena Williams cruised past Belinda Bencic 6-2 6-1 last year in Madrid. Bencic has improved significantly since that match and will have a far greater chance on a hard court. Interestingly, Bencic was quite easily defeated by Wozniacki, Ivanovic and Lisicki in their first encounters but has reversed all of those results this week.
I expect this to be a competitive match, it would take an almighty effort for her to upset the current world number 1. Serena’s serve is the biggest difference in this matchup as well as the major gap in experience, I have to go with Serena for the win.
Prediction: Serena Williams to defeat Belinda Bencic in 3 sets