Australian Open 2020: Anett Kontaveit defeats Belinda Bencic in straight sets
- This will go down as one of the biggest victory of Anett Kontaveit's grand slam career
Belinda Bencic's bid for the Australian Open came to a crashing end on Saturday. The Swiss star didn’t get the start she wanted, leaving Anett Kontaveit to drive her way to a 6-0, 6-1 win on Margaret Court Arena at Melbourne Park.
The masterful performance from the 24-year-old saw her first serve percentage as high as 90 percent. Kontaveit outscored Bencic 55-27.
The last time these two faced each other was at the US Open last year, where Kontaveit pulled out due to an injury. Bencic had a close encounter in the second round against Jelena Ostapenko. Both players scored a dozen double faults combined.
Bencic got away with it as her opponent carried the same tendency. But committing double faults against Kontaveit proved dangerous for the world number seven. In the last round, Kontaveit went the distance with Sara Sorribes Tormo but pulled off a near-perfect third set to advance. With both seeking a berth in the round of 16, one's offense needed to better than the other.
Kontaveit was at her best against Bencic, who had trouble returning balls. The Swiss star struggled with the first serve getting just one point before being broken. The Estonian quickly consolidated the break for a 3-0 lead and fed off her opponent’s issues. The sixth seed again scored just two points in the fourth before giving Kontaveit the double break.
After just 16 minutes, it was 5-0 for the 28th seed with Bencic trying to keep the set going from her end. Trying to get more balls in the net, Bencic laid out great crosscourt winners but let Kontaveit reach deuce in the sixth. After two breaks, the Estonian took the first set in 20 minutes with a long ball coming from Bencic on the return. The Swiss scored 48 percent overall points from the first serve with the unforced errors numbering ten while Kontaveit had two.
Kontaveit continued playing blitzkrieg tennis, raking up her seventh game in a row as Bencic erried at the start of the second set. With new balls, Bencic turned things around scoring a pair of aces but the Estonian pulled back to win her ninth straight game.
Kontaveit continued her good form and blanked out the sixth seed.
While serving for the game, the 24-year-old had match points but missed victory by an inch on a crosscourt to Bencic. It went to deuce where it only took Kontaveit one big smash for a second match point. She ended it in 49 minutes with a huge smash completing one of the best wins of her grand slam career.Published 25 Jan 2020, 11:44 IST