China Open 2019: Petra Kvitova vs Belinda Bencic, Round of 16, Preview and Prediction
Belinda Bencic, the 2019 US Open semi-finalist was resilient in her hard-fought win over the veteran American Venus Williams in her second round encounter at Beijing as the Swiss woman will now meet another dangerous player, Petra Kvitova, in her upcoming third-round contest.
Being a set down, Bencic recorded a stunning and equally remarkable come from behind win over Williams as she also had to fend off the match points in the 10th game of the third set before eventually closing out the roller-coaster-like contest 3-6, 6-3, 7-5.
While Bencic had to stretch herself to reach the third round, her next opponent Kvitova eased through her second-round contest against Kristina Mladenovic in straight sets to register a 6-4, 6-4 win.
On the WTA tour so far, Kvitova and Bencic have met each other on four occasions in the past, with the former leading their duel 3-1. Interestingly, all of their clashes in the past have been on the hard courts and it was Bencic who recorded her only win against the Czech woman when they last squared-off against each other in the finals at Dubai earlier this year.
While Petra Kvitova started the year on a sensational note with a title triumph at Sydney and a dream run at the Australian Open where she reached the finals, the Czech woman has been going through a lean phase of injury concerns and painful defeats following her win at Stuttgart Open earlier this April.
At the Wuhan Open which preceded the China Open, Kvitova found a place in semi-finals and at Beijing, the two-time Wimbledon champion would look forward to consolidate in a bid to achieve the same level of consistency that she had at the start of the season.
On the other hand, against Kvitova, the 22-year old Bencic would aim to repeat the heroics that helped her to overcome the Czech woman in the finals of Dubai Open earlier this February.
Having recorded her first-ever Major semi-final appearance at the US Open this year and following her tremendous win over Williams in the earlier round, Bencic would carry a lot of confidence and momentum as she prepares to face Kvitova. However, with a variety in her game coupled with brutal groundstrokes, the southpaw Kvitova will pose an altogether different challenge to the 22-year old Swiss woman.
Can a resilient Bencic, with an improved game this year, upset the 29-year old Kvitova or will the two-time Grand Slam champion be too good to handle for Bencic?
It would be intriguing to witness who has the last laugh in the upcoming mouth-watering Kvitova-Bencic third-round encounter at the China Open in Beijing!
Prediction: Petra Kvitova to win in three sets.