World No.10 and 6th seed Belinda Bencic crashed out of the Italian Open 2020 in a disappointing straight-set loss to Danka Kovinic. It is a disappointing result for the Swiss who played her first match in the resuming season and her first match since February 2020.
It is an unconvincing and disappointing loss for Bencic. Danka Kovinic is ranked 86th in the WTA rankings, 76 places below Bencic. This is Kovinic’s 2nd victory against a top 10 player. Bencic looked rusty and just couldn’t connect her shots and her return percentages dropped considerably.
Both the players started of cautiously in the first set. But what was striking was Belinda’s low 1st serve percentage. Her serve was going downhill as the set went on and Kovinic finally broke her at 5-3. Kovinic was good at holding her serve and took the set 6-3.
The second set was abysmal for Bencic. Kovinic played with more intensity and carved through the Swiss’ serve. Bencic could only hold on to her serve once in the set. She was broken three times in the set. Kovinic gave away only 5 points on her serve. Belinda was broken for the 3rd time as she skied the ball high in the air at the match point which sealed the set and match for Kovinic 6-3 6-1.
Kovinic came into the match playing the Cincinnati Open, US Open, and the Istanbul Open. The Montenegrin reached the second round of the US Open 2020. She also reached the quarterfinal of the Istanbul Open which is played on clay. Notably, she lost to Eugenie Bouchard in Istanbul Open, who received a wildcard straight into the main draw of the French Open 2020.
For Belinda Bencic it is a huge step back. She withdrew from the US Open 2020 due to the pandemic situation in the US and so lacked the match practice needed. She will have to work had to get accustomed to the clay-court if she wants to go deep in the 2020 French Open.