Belinda Bencic vs. Petra Kvitova
|Date & Time||Thursday January 17, 2019, 7:00 PM (EST)|
The Line: -- Over/Under:
Belinda Bencic and Petra Kvitova meet in the third round of the 2019 tennis Australian Open.
Belinda Bencic is coming off a three sets win over Yulia Putintseva that took 30 games to decide. In the victory, Bencic won 55 percent of her first serve points and 52 percent of her second serve points. Bencic won 54 percent of her total service points and produced eight breaks on 21 break points. Bencic is in the third round so give her credit, but she’s had to play six sets due to a weak second serve and being broken nine times. Bencic is finding ways to win and has had a lot of success with her return, but she’s not going to go much further unless her serve improves drastically in the coming days. Bencic hopes to make the fourth round of a grand slam for the fifth time in her career. Bencic has won five of her last six matches on hard court.
Petra Kvitova is coming off a straight sets win over Irina Begu that took 16 games to decide. In the victory, Kvitova won 74 percent of her first serve points and 43 percent of her second serve points. Kvitova won 61 percent of her total service points and converted on all five of her break points. Kvitova has now won seven straight matches when you add her Sydney International title, and is finishing her points very quickly. Kvitova could improve her second serve as well, but there’s no denying she’s one of the hotter players in the tournament right now and her confidence is probably as high as its been since her return from her hand injury. Kvitova hopes to make the fourth round of a grand slam for the first time since the 2017 US Open. Kvitova has won eight of her last nine matches on hard court.
These two have played twice and Kvitova won both meetings in straight sets. The most recent match was in the 2018 Fed Cup, and the other match was in Tokyo in 2013.
Bencic isn’t the player you want to sleep on, but she’s not serving well right now and an aggressive player who uses the whole court like Kvitova will eat her alive if that continues. Kvitova will step into those second serves and get a lot of free points on the return. Kvitova also isn’t the player anybody wants to play right now when struggling in anything given that she’s won seven straight matches and is riding a wave of confidence with her title in Sydney.
Kvitova rolls to the fourth round, likely in straight sets.