Belinda Bencic got off to a winning start at the Rogers Cup Monday, defeating Anastasia Potapova 6-2, 6-1 on the National Bank Court at Aviva Tennis Centre. The win marked Bencic’s first victory in Canada since her title run here in 2015.
Right from the start, Bencic looked ready to get into action with her first hardcourt match of the second half of the year. The Russian teen on the other hand was making her debut and had a big challenge on her hands.
Bencic came racing off the blocks, breaking Potapova early on before consolidating with a hold in the second. The Russian then got on the board after overcoming a 0-40 start, but went back down two games soon after.
The margin remained that way until the sixth game before the Swiss star took another break to go up 5-2. With Potapova struggling to win points, Bencic brought an end to the first set after 31 minutes by drawing more errors from the Russian.
With Potapova looking vulnerable going into the second set, Bencic put her game into a new gear and won three straight games while allowing just two points in total. She looked utterly comfortable on the court while Potapova struggled to get the ball across the net, leading to a large deficit.
The Russian teen somehow eked out a hold in the fifth, holding off a break chance to deny Bencic the bagel. But the ray of hope was put out by the 11th seed in the very next game as she gained a 5-1 lead with a Potapova return smashing into the net.
In her last chance to keep the set going, the Russian teen committed back-to-back errors before clawing back to 30-all. The Swiss still got to match point, but her shot landed beyond the baseline to give the 18-year-old another shot. The Swiss star eventually got the job done, breaking on her fourth try to end the match after 65 minutes of play.
Potapova made a lot of double faults throughout the match, which gave Bencic plenty of breathing room. The Russian's overall game was sub-par too, as she won less than 50 percent of her service points and just 28 percent on the return.
While Potapova goes back to the drawing board, the 11th seed moves into Wednesday’s second round where she will face either Polona Hercog or Julia Goerges.Published 06 Aug 2019, 01:19 IST