World No.7 Belinda Bencic eked out a tight contest over Jelena Ostapenko to defeat her in straight sets 7-5, 7-5 in one hour and 42 minutes on Thursday. With this victory, she moves into the third round of the Australian Open 2020.
In a tough defeat for Ostapenko, who was playing her first tournament after the death of her father, hit 36 winners but committed 37 unforced errors in the course of two sets. She had finished the 2019 season strong and is playing better than what she played in 2018.
On the other hand, Bencic managed to hit only 16 winners but was better than her opponent in terms of unforced errors, committing 22 of them.
Belinda Bencic broke four times to win the first set
The sixth-seeded started the match on the right foot as she broke Ostapenko in her opening service game. The Swiss star was all over her opponent as she broke again in Ostapenko’s second serve game and sprinted to a commanding 3-0 lead.
In response, the Latvian got the break back in the next game. Ostapenko also managed to get a re-break with a forehand winner and level the set at 3-3. However, Jelena committed a double fault and a couple of backhand unforced errors to gift three break chances to Belinda Bencic. The Swiss secured the break with a forehand winner.
In the battle of breaks, the two players traded a break once again with Bencic getting a second chance to serve out for the set at 6-5. Bencic finally held her serve after saving a breakpoint and secured the first set 7-5 with a forehand winner.
Both the players were returning better than serving. The 49-minute set saw 7 breaks exchanged between the two opponents with Belinda leading the contest.
Belinda Bencic takes a competitive first set over Jelena Ostapenko 7-5.
Have to consider her a potential title contender here after her terrific 2019 season.#AusOpen
— Ben Lewis (@BenLewisSN590) January 23, 2020
Bencic won 5 consecutive games to win the second set
The series of breaks continued in the second set as both the players failed to hold their opening serve games respectively. However, Jelena Ostapenko held her serve and broke again to get a 3-1 lead.
The Latvian failed to serve out the set at 5-3 as Bencic earned the break back. Bencic then changed gears at the right moment as she won 5 consecutive games to win the second set 7-5 and secure a berth in the third round.
Belinda Bencic wins the battle of 1997, beating Jelena Ostapenko 7-5 7-5 to reach round three.
That was a pretty good match until the final 20 minutes or so. Ostapenko's game (and serve) collapsed a little from 5-2 up in set two.
— Tumaini Carayol (@tumcarayol) January 23, 2020
— Tennis Channel (@TennisChannel) January 23, 2020
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