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Wimbledon 2018: Angelique Kerber dictates win in straight sets over Belinda Bencic

Rudy Martinez
ANALYST
News
98   //    09 Jul 2018, 23:32 IST

TENNIS-GBR-WIMBLEDON
Angelique Kerber

Belinda Bencic watched her game slip away at the Championships in Wimbledon 2018 on Monday. The Swiss star, who was having a serious comeback, fell at the hands of Angelique Kerber. The latter secured her fourth quarter-final in seven years, winning in straight sets 6-3, 7-6(5) on Court No. 1 at the All England Tennis Club in London.

The Swiss Miss continued her comeback march after taking down Carla Suarez Navarro on Saturday, giving her a second return to the round of 16. While she didn’t make it past Victoria Azarenka that year, the obstacle was always supposed to be just as great against the former world number one Kerber.

Bencic had managed to defeat her twice on the tour on hardcourts, but was surely hoping to add another one on a surface she was more than comfortable with. She and the German have dropped just one set to this point and were expected to go the distance to assure themselves a spot in Tuesday’s quarter-finals.

Bencic had an early scare, being down two points on serve but rallied back to secure the service hold against Kerber. She forced deuce in the second game but couldn’t contain the German on serve, who took the game in the second.

She answered back with two straight first serves but the second serve had yet to come up to speed. It allowed Kerber to attack that weak spot, leveling the score at three all.

Kerber marched on as the unforced errors from Bencic were giving her free points that only made it easy for her opponent. She was on a four-game winning streak sitting a game down with very little response coming from Bencic. She couldn’t take the small points won in the final games and build on them which ultimately led to Kerber taking the opening set in 42 minutes.

The German served 65 percent of points in while making only nine errors to Bencic’s 15. While both had numerous winners, the leverage was in favour of the 11th seed.

She continued to show her strength winning her serve to start the second set. Bencic matched her in the second but couldn’t bring a fight together to break Kerber in the third. The German rallied twice more before the 21-year-old got back within one after the fifth.

She found ways of winning her own serves to stay in touch with Kerber, adding big shots that gave her the energy to stay with her. They remained tied after eight games with Kerber looking for the step to play for the match.

Bencic’s unforced errors were high in number and came at the wrong time. Bencic saved herself with a well-placed winner before a cross-court return on the AD point gave her the chance to serve for a shot at a deciding set.

She earned two set points on serve in the tenth game but dropped both on errors on the forehand. With no challenges left and Kerber fighting to attain the break point, Bencic blew four AD points on deuce that gave her opponent the break back and a chance to still take it straight.

The former world number one delivered a solid service game that beat back Bencic in the 11th game to play for the match a second time. Kerber had a small window to earn the break and end her day on court but Bencic still had enough tenacity to force a tie-break. Every point was important for the Swiss star, whose nerves were running high. She gave Kerber two points from those problems before getting a second point on a long ball return from the German.

Some great hitting from Bencic made it four-all as she pushed Kerber back, making it easier to land points inside the court away from her. It all came apart as a bad forehand from Bencic set up match point where Kerber got it when an obvious return ball popped up to land wide, concluding 1 hour and 47 minutes.

While it was clear that both didn’t have a strong second serve, the ability to limit the unforced errors from it went to the 30-year-old, who only had 19 compared to Bencic having double the amount. She would more than likely work out the kinks in what was a good return to competitive major tennis while Kerber sets up for Tuesday’s match against the winner between Daria Kasatkina and Alison van Uytvanck.

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Rudy Martinez
ANALYST
A writer with eight years experience in sportswriting. He specializes in the National Hockey League, WTA Tennis and both summer and winter Olympic sports.
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