Belinda Bencic Does Not Consider Herself to be ‘Favorite’ Against Elise Mertens at Australian Open 2021

Published 02/11/2021, 7:30 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


Belinda Bencic has finally avenged her Qatar Open 2020 quarterfinal loss against Svetlana Kuznetsova. She defeated the Russian 7-5, 2-6, 6-4 in a game that ran for 2 hrs 39 mins. It was certainly a tough outing for the young Swiss player.

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Belinda is the 11th seed player in the tournament and has never crossed the bar of quarters in past one year. However, she is through to the third round of the Australian Open 2021 and has what it takes to get to the second week of the grand slam. 

Belinda Bencic vs Elise Mertens

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The 23-year-old will next face a tough rival in the Belgian 18th seed, Elise Mertens. In her post-game interview, the interviewers asked how she sees her next opponent.

Belinda very wisely responded, “I definitely think she’s a very consistent and solid player and I haven’t played her before, I played her in juniors but not in WTA yet.

“Ya, I’m looking forward to the match, I’ll definitely relax my mind today and tomorrow and just get back focusing tomorrow evening and try to find a tactic against her and the game plan.”

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

The 25-year-old Mertens will be a tricky player to handle because she is riding through a very successful year. Apart from her doubles success, she reached the quarter in US Open 2020, defeating Sofia Kenin. Then, she reached the finals of the Linz Open and won the Gippsland Trophy just last week. 

Looking at this, Belinda Bencic added, “Definitely a challenge. I definitely don’t consider myself as the favorite, not against her and not these rounds as well, so, you know, I’m just here, playing with what I can.

“I know she’s probably confident here, but it doesn’t matter, I think every match starts from zero, I’ll try to perform my best.”

The Swiss player almost saw an upset against Svetlana Kuznetsova

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The fact that the Russian 35-year-old player saved four match points before finding the net shows how well she fought. Kuznetsova took the second set in a breeze and remained tight until the seventh game in the third set. 

Going by the match stats, the Swiss star had fewer aces, almost a dozen double faults, more overall unforced errors, and poorer accuracy at winning the breakpoints. So, it was not a spotless victory, but she definitely took her chances at the end and came out victorious.

However, if she is to win against the in-form Elise Mertens, she’ll have to pull out the best in her. So, whose side would you be when they play the day after, Belinda or Elise? Let us know in the comments.

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Read also – “It’s His Tournament”: Belinda Bencic Picks Rafael Nadal as the Most Elegant Player at French Open

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Sourabh Singh

1140 articles

Sourabh Singh is an NBA sports analyst for EssentiallySports, who has been working with the site since May 2020. Prior to this, he functioned as Managing Editor at WittyFeed, followed by a stint at Decathlon. The Sports Management graduate leads an active lifestyle, veering to the mountains for off-trail adventures.

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