China Open 2019: Belinda Bencic goes down in straight sets to Petra Kvitova
- The former world No.2 has been in top form since her return to the tour.
Belinda Bencic was shown the devastating power of her opponent Petra Kvitova at the China Open on Wednesday. Forehand winners from Kvitova snuffed out any chanced for the Swiss to get into gear in a 6-3, 6-3 reverse on Lotus Court at the National Tennis Center in Beijing. The victory for the 2014 finalist also earned her revenge for the recent defeat to the 22-year-old.
In their first meeting since the final in Dubai, Bencic has been on a run of success that pitted her against the Czech for the fourth time. While Kvitova held the head-to-head lead, she wanted nothing more than to avenge her previous loss to the Swiss star.
The world number seven took almost a month off before returning to action and has done well winning four of her last five matches including a win over Kristina Mladenovic. Bencic had two big victories behind her, she planned to push herself to get a third and make the quarterfinals.
Bencic opened with a hold of serve but had to earn it. The 22-year-old gave it right back with a challenge of her own but couldn’t break either. They went through four games before Kvitova struck with a break in the fifth allowing Bencic a single point on serve. She consolidated a hold with her left-handed serve scoring on sliced shots that the world number ten had no chance to return.
With a two-game deficit, Bencic fought to hold in the seventh but gaining a break was still not what Kvitova allowed in the set. With her chance to take the set, the Czech drew errors from Bencic to reach set point and win on a final error that ended the first in 40 minutes. Bencic called for her father and coach to come down and figure a way to turn things around in the second set. She committed 17 unforced errors while her opponent launched a volley of winners totaling 16.
A terrific start for the ninth seed came in the shape of a strong defense and big hits for the break. Kvitova attempted to break back but found herself in a fight to hold serve. Despite forcing deuce, it remained a fight that lasted five break points with Bencic taking a 2-0 lead.
The seventh seed held in the third to get on the board followed by a break in the fourth turning the tide towards Czech. Consolidating it with a hold in the fifth gave her a path to keep the ninth seed behind her.
Kvitova did just that reaching the tenth game where she served for the match and won it on a delayed challenge that finally showed the players and fans in the stands that Bencic’s return landed out giving the win to the 29-year-old in 1 hour and 27 minutes.
Published 02 Oct 2019, 18:27 IST