Date: June 18, 2022
Tournament: bett1open 2022
Venue: Berlin, Germany
Category: WTA 500
Prize money: $757,900
Live telecast: USA - Tennis Channel | Canada - TSN | UK - Amazon Prime Video
Maria Sakkari vs Belinda Bencic preview
Second seed Maria Sakkari squares off against eighth seed Belinda Bencic in the semifinals of the Berlin Open on Saturday.
Sakkari entered the bett1open on the back of a quarterfinals exit in Nottingham, losing out to Beatriz Hadad Maia in three closely contested sets 6-4, 4-6, 6-3.
The Greek has played several tournaments over the weeks to find her best form post her disappointing stint in Paris. After a decent run in the first tournament of the grasscourt season, Sakkari looks to have found her rhythm and upped her game this week, registering formidable wins over Leolia Jeanjean, Daria Gavrilova and Daria Kasatkina.
The 26-year old pulled off a clinical win against Kasatkina in her quarterfinal clash. She dominated the Russian throughout the match, wrapping up the last eight clash 6-0, 6-3 in just over an hour.
The Swiss struggled to keep up with the World No. 24 in the early proceedings and was quickly chasing the match in the opening hour. She stayed calm and played herself into form in the second and third sets to complete a remarkable comeback and enter her third semifinal of the year.
Maria Sakkari vs Belinda Bencic head-to-head
Sakkari leads the head-to-head 2-0 against Bencic. The Greek defeated Bencic in their most recent encounter at the 2020 St. Petersburg Ladies Trophy 2-6, 6-4, 6-3.
Maria Sakkari vs Belinda Bencic odds
All odds are sourced by BetMGM.
Maria Sakkari vs Belinda Bencic prediction
Bencic won 62 percent of her first serve points and saved four out of eight break points in her match against Kudermetova. The Swiss has shown incredible resilience this week and all her matches have gone the distance, but she's found a way to dig deep and win matches from a losing position. That's what the best players do and Bencic is taking strides in that direction, winning matches despite being in poor form.
Sakkari has also played some top quality tennis this week. Many would have doubted her chances in the quarterfinals against the French Open semifinalist but the second seed proved them wrong. The Greek won 70 percent of her first serve points and converted seven out of 16 break points against Kasatkina.
The World No. 6 likes to strike the ball on the rise, generating a lot of speed and depth behind her shots from the baseline. She also showed her skills in the last eight at the net, using her drop volley to perfection.
Bencic has a 67 percent success ratio on grass compared to Sakkari's 55 percent. Her game management skills will come into play, considering the fitness levels of both these players.
If Bencic starts strongly and if attacking Sakkari's relatively weak backhand works in the Swiss' favor, she should be able to reach her second tour final of the season.
Pick: Bencic to win in three tight sets.