Belinda Bencic vs Madison Keys - WTA Qatar Open First Round
Tuesday March 2nd, 2021
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A huge match is on our hands as sixth seeded Belinda Bencic of Switzerland faces American Madison Keys in the First Round of the 2021 Qatar Open WTA Event. The match is scheduled to be played on Tuesday March 2nd, 2021. They have played each other twice in their careers, winning one match each.
Belinda Bencic is currently ranked #12 and is in good form, making a Finals appearance in Adelaide last week, losing to Iga Swiatek. Prior to that, she had struggled with form and fitness over the past few years, shockingly not making a WTA final in over 16 months! The former world number four will be delighted to be back in form and will be looking to make a second consecutive deep run at a tournament here. In this current form she is one of the favorites for this event. She is a very strong baseline player, that moves very well. She struggles at times with her focus and consisteny but seems to have avoided those issues of late. Her opponent has not played much tennis recently so Bencic enters this match as the firm favorite.
Madison Keys is currently ranked #19 and is making her 2021 tournament debut. Having not been able to take part in the Australian Open and the warm up tournaments due to contracting COVID-19 she will be eager to get her season off to a strong start. She had a mixed 2020 season, not playing many tournaments due to the pandemic and had inconsistent results. When she is at her best she is clearly one of the top players in the world, with huge groundstrokes and a strong serve. She is also a very intelligent player, able to figure out opponent's styles easily and adjust to suit. However, a lot of rust is to be expected and against an in-form Bencic it will likely be a struggle.
If both of these players are in-form, it would be a very close and exciting match. However, Keys has not played a match all year and I don't expect her to be in match shape at the moment. It won't be straightforward, but a Bencic win is the most likely outcome.