Wimbledon 2019: Bencic tasks a straight sets win on Kanepi
Belinda Bencic waited for her time to strike and the success of her actions moved her forward at the Championships Wimbledon. The 13th seed had more than luck on her side as she gave much from her first serve to beat down the offense of Kaia Kanepi. The 33-year-old was rattled to pieces in the second set to take the exit in a 6-3, 6-1 score on Court 18 at the All England Tennis Club Thursday.
This was the first-ever meeting for the two making it an uncertain outcome for both. The Estonian won her way to the round of 64 but did so in an evenly matched battle with Stefanie Voegele. The Swiss sent them to three sets where she eventually fell in the final set 6-4. Bencic put together a comfortable victory against Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova that marked her fourth consecutive win over the Russian veteran. With her performance level much higher than Kanepi’s it would be a test for the world number 76 to be at her best or stumble against the seeded force.
Kanepi faced a quick service game from Bencic that only took two minutes to complete. When she earned her chance to serve, the 34-year-old took twice as much time avoiding a break on deuce. When the Swiss start returned to serve the third, she didn’t expect a push from Kanepi to get a late point and score the break. Bencic returned the favor to break her back in the fourth before consolidating it with a hold in the fifth.
The Estonian again recorded another double fault that got her into trouble in the fifth but managed to hang on and keep the score level. Bencic was gearing into an attack that her opponent couldn’t fend off and held in the seventh saving a break point before winning it on a third AD point attempt. The break helped her reach a 5-3 stance before taking the opening set with a challenge from Kanepi who saved three set points before going down on the second break of deuce giving the 13th the lead after 41 minutes.
Nine combined double faults were notched with Kanepi committing more of them and a rough second serve didn’t give her much to battle Bencic into deeper competition. It only opened the door for the 22-year-old to show her dominance while the window of opportunity revealed itself.
They started with service holds with Kanepi keeping it together to avoid the pace from getting out of hand early. Once the Swiss got revved up, it was hard to stop her from controlling the remainder of the match. She handed the Estonian three points in the next two games that handed Bencic the break and a second service hold.
It was the beginning of the end as she beat down Kanepi in the fifth denying two break points that showed that effort from the 34-year-old was running low. The Swiss star went on to take another comfortable service hold in the sixth that gave her the eighth win of the last nine games. With no chance of stopping her, Kanepi served the seventh but fell behind giving the 22-year-old a lot of momentum to finish strong. Though it came on deuce, the match points would have been abundant but two was enough for the world number 13 to come out victorious in one hour and nine minutes.
Bencic outscored Kanepi by more than 20 points with 22 winners and 13 errors coming from her in the 16 games played. In what became her fourth entry to the round of 32, the Swiss star would take on American Alison Riske on Saturday.
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