Fixture: (11) Belinda Bencic vs (23) Jessica Pegula
Date: 4 September 2021
Tournament: US Open 2021
Round: Third round (Round of 32)
Venue: New York, United States
Category: Grand Slam
Surface: Outdoor hardcourt
Prize money: $40,560,000
Live telecast: USA - Tennis Channel & ESPN | UK - BBC TV & Radio | India - Star Sports / Disney+ Hotstar VIP
Belinda Bencic vs Jessica Pegula preview
Belinda Bencic and Jessica Pegula came through similarly dominant wins on Friday to book a third-round meeting at the 2021 US Open.
Bencic was in complete control of her encounter against Italy's Martina Trevisan, dropping just nine points on serve throughout the match. She was also in top form on return, breaking her opponent on five occasions to close out a 6-3, 6-1 win.
Against an in-form opponent in Pegula, however, the Swiss faces her biggest test of the tournament yet.
Pegula has been playing some of her best tennis throughout the year. She came into her home Slam on the back of big wins over Ons Jabeur, Danielle Collins and Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova, and she has continued in the same vein this week.
The 27-year-old has produced strong performances in her opening two matches in New York. She will be brimming with confidence ahead of the third-round contest against Bencic.
Belinda Bencic vs Jessica Pegula head-to-head
Belinda Bencic leads Jessica Pegula in their current head-to-head with a 2-0 margin. The Swiss took a straight-sets win over her opponent in their most recent meeting, which came at the 2021 Olympics.
Belinda Bencic vs Jessica Pegula prediction
Both Belinda Bencic and Jessica Pegula have been in fine form of late. If they continue to play well, this could turn into an intense baseline tussle.
Bencic has used her serve extremely well this week to set up points for herself. The 11th seed has won an astonishing 85% of the points behind the first serve in the first two rounds, and will once again rely on the shot to win a few easy points on Saturday.
Bencic has also been striking the ball cleanly off the ground, and is likely to go after her forehand. Pegula is more than capable of matching Bencic in baseline rallies, but she will likely have to work much harder to defend her serve.
The American does not generate a lot of power on the first or second serve, and Bencic will look to capitalize on that. Pegula will have the support of the home crowd, but unless she can find a way to push Bencic out of her comfort zone, the Swiss will likely find a way to power through into the second week.
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Prediction: Belinda Bencic to win in two tight sets.