Hobart International: Bencic deals herself a win in straight sets
Belinda Bencic had a much better outcome at the Hobart International on Wednesday. With the wind still being a bother on the court, the Swiss star adjusted to what she learned recently to pull out a victory against Zoe Hives with a 6-2, 6-4 win on center court at the Domain Tennis Centre.
Both earned victories in different situations on Monday with the Australian needing every single game in straight sets to win against Johanna Larsson.
The 22-year-old Hives pulled out all the stops winning two consecutive tiebreaks to face an opponent with the same push. Bencic, to begin with, had a lot wrong with her game due to windy conditions but when she had the ball landing the right way, she found the effort deep inside to come out a winner against second seed Mihaela Buzarnescu. With no history against Hives, it left the door wide open for both of them to achieve progress.
Bencic came out blasting on the returns but she lost the opportunity to secure the break. After getting back on track, Hives managed to complete the hold of serve on the second break of deuce to begin the match. Bencic showed that a loss early wouldn’t take anything away from her game and proved that with a 40-0 push before winning it after Hives earned a lone point. The Swiss star kept the heat high, opening the third game to three break points before taking it swiftly.
She faltered in the fourth committing a double fault that opened the door for Hives to hunt down a break chance. Bencic wouldn’t give her that, forcing deuce where after a few breaks, the 21-year-old got the hold to extend her margin. Hives made good to get her serve under control keeping the Swiss player within reach. Her mission wouldn’t go as planned with Bencic finding the groove to surge ahead taking the next three games that capped the set in 32 minutes. Bencic doubled the winners of Hives, outscoring her 30-19 despite having two double faults recorded.
It forced Hives to take a set break chat with Michael Logarzo who assured her that she was not out of it and that there was a lot of tennis left to play. She opened the second set with a great win against Bencic in hopes to build on making a good fight. The 21-year-old had the eyes on the prize scoring a break in the third. Bencic kept a game ahead of Hives who broke her in the fourth but suffered a double break in return.
It was soon a triple break win for Bencic who after taking care of business in the sixth had three break points in the seventh to sit 5-2 and served for the match. The 21-year-old showed good control and focus but a winning return from Hives allowed her to force deuce and clear her way to a third win. The pressure was on the Aussie to win the ninth but instead of her feeling it, it was Bencic who struggled on the returns resulting in another lost game. Hives called down Logarzo who told her to take her time on the serve and to breathe in order to stay calm.
Despite the positive remarks from her coach, Bencic wanted the win and got it with three match points to blank the Australian in the tenth to complete 1 hour and 16 minutes on the clock. Bencic played on an even keel with Hives who nearly had the same amount of winners and unforced errors. The ability for Bencic to keep her way of winning points was the ultimate goal of moving forward.
“It was pretty tricky again and Zoe played very good,” Bencic said after the match. “She’s definitely a tricky opponent so I had to be focused the whole time and happy to be through.”
She will get set for a quarterfinal match against Dayana Yastremska taking place on Thursday.