Volvo Car Open 2019: Belinda Bencic crushes Destanee Aiava in straight sets
Destanee Aiava had no chance of etching a victory at the Volvo Car Open Monday afternoon. The young Australian was schooled on the green clay by Belinda Bencic, who used some smart tactics to secure a 6-3, 6-0 victory at Volvo Car Stadium of the Family Circle Tennis Center.
The Swiss star returned to action following her early exit at the Miami Open. The world number 20 was ready to make the transition to clay as she faced a younger competitor who was making her debut in the tournament.
The 18-year-old Aiava had never faced Bencic before, but was hoping her 33-9 career record on clay was good enough to force an upset. The Swiss star didn’t get more than two victories on the dirt last season and last featured here in 2015.
Bencic blasted out a break to love to begin the match before struggling on her own serve in the second game. Aiava opened up a 40-15 lead before it was erased as Bencic forced deuce. Aiava gained another break point but lost it to the Swiss star who was intent on making a statement on court.
Bencic took the second game and then raced away to a 4-0 lead. Just when it looked like the set was slipping away from Aiava, the Australian teen held it together in the fifth game to get on the board.
Bencic made sure to hold her own serve in the sixth game, forcing Aiava to serve as she tried to extend the set. The Australian managed a quick hold and break to get back on track but Bencic was done letting opportunities slip away and broke back quickly to secure the set in 33 minutes.
The Swiss then started the second set with a hold before forcing errors from the teen's racquet to take a 2-0 lead. A dominant display from Bencic put her firmly in control at 5-0 as nerves continued to plague the young Australian's game. Eventually, faced with two match points, Aiava succumbed meekly as Bencic closed out the match in 55 minutes.
“I’m very happy with my match,” Bencic said to Andrew Krasny following her victory. “First rounds are never easy but I was very focused today and tried to play my game from start to finish and I did that well so I’m really happy.”
While clay isn’t Bencic's forte, her performance tonight holds her in good stead as she prepares to take on the winner of the match between Pauline Parmentier and Allie Kiick in the second round.