Kristina Mladenovic Shocks 10th Seed Belinda Bencic at Italian Open 2021’s Opener

Published 05/11/2021, 5:54 AM EDT
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


It’s time for the Italian Open 2021 and fans witnessed a huge upset in the first round of the tournament itself. In an epic encounter, World No.53 Kristina Mladenovic defeated World No.11 Belinda Bencic in straight sets. The final scoreline of the match was 6-3, 6-4.

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Set-1: Kritina Mladenovic stuns Belinda Bencic

The match began with a very close first game which witnessed five deuces. However, after saving a break-point, Kristina Mladenovic finally won it and took an early lead. However, Belinda Bencic equalized the scoreline in the very next game.

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It was after this that Mladenovic showed her dominance and won four back-to-back games after breaking twice. She was now leading 5-1 at the end of the sixth game and Bencic had to do something phenomenal to fight back. The Swiss broke in the next game and narrowed down the margin to 5-2. Interestingly, the World No.11 player even saved a set-point in the subsequent game and brought the scoreline to 5-3.

However, Mladenovic regained her momentum and with the help of her amazing and powerful forehands, she won the next game. As a result, she won the first set 6-3.

Set-2: Game, Set, Match for Kristina Mladenovic

Mladenovic yet again began the set in style after breaking in the first game. Even though Bencic saved three break-points she couldn’t save the fourth, and thus, the French player once again established a 1-0 lead over Bencic. She continued her hegemony over the Swiss player and was leading 2-0 at the end of the second game.

Kristina Mladenovic of France celebrates victory during her round of 32 matches against Katerina Siniakova of the Czech Republic during day three of the Nature Valley Classic at Edgbaston Priory Club on June 18, 2018, in Birmingham, United Kingdom. (Photo by Jordan Mansfield/Getty Images for LTA)

Bencic bounced back, won the next game easily, and reduced Mladenovic’s lead to 2-1. However, Mladenovic was not ready to give any sort of momentum to Bencic as she delivered some beautiful serves to extend her lead to 3-1. She even won a break-point in the next game but failed to capitalize on it. As a result, Bencic managed to reduce the margin again at 3-2.

After this, the French player too saved a break-point and was comfortably leading again at 4-2. She was now just two games away from reaching the second round of the Italian Open 2021. But, Bencic was not ready to give it up quickly as she again fought back to shorten the lead to 4-3. Bencic finally broke in the 8th game and leveled the scoreline at 4-4.

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However, Mladenovic broke as well in the subsequent game and was just one game away from winning the match. Serving for the match, she wrapped it up soon, conquered the set 6-4, and thus, won the match.

 

 

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Anshul Singh

957 articles

Anshul Singh is a tennis author at EssentiallySports, currently pursuing Journalism Honors from Delhi University. Having significant experience with content, Anshul has authored over 500 tennis articles. He has previously worked as a writer and an editor for DU Express, penning riveting articles on sports, politics, and culture.

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