Victoria Azarenka vs. Belinda Bencic
|Date & Time||Tuesday August 13, 2019, 11:00 AM (EDT)|
Lindner Family Tennis Center
The Line: -- Over/Under:
Victoria Azarenka and Belinda Bencic meet in the first round of the 2019 tennis Cincinnati Open.
Victoria Azarenka is coming off a second round exit in Toronto and has split her last eight matches overall. Right when it looked like Azarenka was finding her form and starting to return to the player we’re used to seeing, she goes back to having issues with her serve and piling up the unforced errors. In her last match, Azarenka won just 38 percent of her second serve points and had 10 double faults. These are the mistakes that Azarenka was making when she first returned from her pregnancy. Azarenka has won four of her last five opening matches. Azarenka also is no stranger to success in Cincinnati, as she won this tournament in 2013. Azarenka has split her last six matches on hard court.
Belinda Bencic is coming off a third round exit in Toronto and has won five of her last eight matches overall. Bencic is coming off a match where she won 47 percent of her total service points, was broken six times and had seven double faults. Bencic has had some of her brightest moments this year and has feasted on top competition with eight wins over top-10 players, but she has to clean up those silly mistakes if she’s going to get back to being the player she was earlier in the year. Bencic has a combined 19 double faults in her last two matches. Bencic hasn’t lost an opening match since Lugano back in April. Bencic has split her last six matches on hard court.
Azarenka won the only meeting, which was in 2015 Wimbledon. The match was decided in straight sets and 17 games.
Both of these players struggled with their serve in Toronto and the double faults were flying at an unreal rate. If that continues here, who knows who is going to win. As for a prediction, I’d lean toward Bencic simply because she’s been the more consistent player this season by far and has developed a knack of playing her best when the competition is high. Azarenka may still be trying to get back to form, but she’s still a name the rest of the field respects and gets up for.
Give me Bencic.