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Luxembourg Open 2021: Belinda Bencic vs Zarina Diyas preview, head-to-head & prediction

Belinda Bencic is the top seed at this year's tournament.
Belinda Bencic is the top seed at this year's tournament.
ANALYST

Match details

Fixture: (1) Belinda Bencic vs Zarina Diyas

Date: 15 September 2021

Tournament: Luxembourg Open 2021

Round: Second round (Round of 16)

Venue: Kockelscheuer, Luxembourg

Category: WTA 250

Surface: Indoor hardcourt

Prize money: $235,238

Live telecast: USA - Tennis Channel & ESPN | UK - Amazon Prime Video

Belinda Bencic vs Zarina Diyas preview

Top seed Belinda Bencic will open her 2021 Luxembourg Open campaign with a second-round encounter against Kazakhstan's Zarina Diyas on Wednesday.

Bencic is in the midst of a purple patch that has seen her secure an Olympic gold medal and make the quarterfinals of the US Open. The Swiss has now won 13 of her last 15 matches, including big victories over the likes of Barbora Krejcikova and Iga Swiatek. She will look to carry that momentum into the WTA 250 event in Luxembourg.

Zarina Diyas scored a hard-fought three-set win in her opening match.
Zarina Diyas scored a hard-fought three-set win in her opening match.

Diyas, meanwhile, is hoping to register back-to-back wins for the first time since reaching the quarterfinals of the Swiss Open in July earlier this year.

The Kazakh made a strong start to her campaign in Luxembourg, scoring a hard-fought three-set win over Slovakia's Anna Karolína Schmiedlova in her opening match on Tuesday.

Diyas possesses an aggressive baseline game that is well suited to hardcourt, and she could well ask a few questions of Bencic in their second-round encounter.

Belinda Bencic vs Zarina Diyas head-to-head

Belinda Bencic leads Zarina Diyas in their current head-to-head by a slender 2-1 margin. The Swiss dropped just three games in their previous meeting in Miami earlier this year.

Belinda Bencic vs Zarina Diyas prediction

Bencic will be a firm favorite heading into this contest.
Bencic will be a firm favorite heading into this contest.

Given the huge gulf in the rankings and Belinda Bencic's recent form, the Swiss will enter this second-round contest as a firm favorite on paper.

The 24-year-old's serve has been firing on all cylinders of late and she has also found her range from the baseline. Bencic will step out looking to take control of the contest from the get-go and the onus will be on Diyas to try and come up with some answers.

The Kazakh does possess a few weapons of her own -- including a powerful forehand -- but she will need to play a tactical match to stand a chance against a red-hot opponent.

Bencic's forehand is her weaker wing and Diyas will need to target it as much as possible. The 27-year-old will also need to stay aggressive from the baseline; hanging back and playing defensively is unlikely to yield rewards against an opponent of Bencic's caliber.

Prediction: Belinda Bencic to win in two tight sets

Edited by Arvind Sriram
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