Belinda Bencic Yet Again Encounters Embarrassing Defeat at Australian Open 2021

Published 02/13/2021, 2:06 AM EST
Tennis – Australian Open – Melbourne Park, Melbourne, Australia, February 11, 2021 Switzerland’s Belinda Bencic celebrates after winning her second round match against Russia’s Svetlana Kuznetsova REUTERS/Loren Elliott


The Swiss WTA star, Belinda Bencic, crashed out of the Australian Open after losing to Belgian Elise Mertens in a third-round clash on Saturday.

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It was a repeat of her poor showing at Melbourne Park last year where she also went out in Round-3 after losing 0-6, 1-6 to Estonian Anett Kontaveit.

The Swiss starlet had conceded to being well below-par in her earlier matches and went into the battle clearly short of belief and confidence.

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Belinda Bencic was surprisingly listless against Elise Mertens

The lack of confidence was in evidence at Melbourne Park on Saturday as Bencic lost her serve early in the opening set and couldn’t draw level as the Belgian took it 6-2.

Mertens brought her A-game to the park as she sent down more aces than the Swiss. Furthermore, she also scored a high percentage of points on her first serve as the Swiss failed to catch up.

Tennis – Australian Open – Melbourne Park, Melbourne, Australia, February 11, 2021 Switzerland’s Belinda Bencic in action during her second round match against Russia’s Svetlana Kuznetsova REUTERS/Loren Elliott

Putting pressure on the Bencic serve paid rich dividends for the Belgian as she created four breakpoint opportunities and converted three of them to pull away from the Swiss.

Belinda Bencic couldn’t recover from the opening set loss

The second set started on an even poorer note for the current World Number 12 as she fell to an early break. Subsequently, Mertens doubled her advantage by holding her serve.

The 16-ranked Belgian extended her lead to 3-1 after another comfortable hold, further improving on the points won on her first serve to 85%, leaving the Swiss significantly behind on that score.

Mertens pushed Bencic again in the fifth game of the second set, taking it to deuce and then converting a breakpoint to pull away to an unreachable 4-1 lead.

Bencic could read the writing on the wall as her shoulders dropped, and she appeared to be going through the motions, realizing that her Australian Open campaign was drawing to an early close.

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What made it tougher for the Swiss to stage a fightback was that the Belgian went with the flow, refusing to take her foot off the pedal. Bencic who was down a double break couldn’t recover and surrendered the third break to conclude her listless display. She lost 2-6, 1-6.

The two hadn’t played each other before the third-round showdown, but the Belgian couldn’t care less as she continued her incredible run of form that saw her post commanding wins in the opening two rounds.

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Priyabrata Chowdhury

845 articles

Priyabrata Chowdhury is a tennis author for EssentiallySports. He has been a print journalist for a decade, producing news pages for leading national dailies such as the Hindustan Times and The New Indian Express. His passion for sports eventually drove him to tennis writing.

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