“Still Not Where I Want to Be”: Belinda Bencic Dissatisfied With 2R Victory at Australian Open 2021

Published 02/10/2021, 11:08 PM EST
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


Another big clash came up at the Australian Open 2021 as Belinda Bencic played Svetlana Kuznetsova for a third-round place. With 11 WTA seeded upsets already, this battle was sure to bring another one. After fighting for 3 sets, the Swiss professional won the match: 7-5, 2-6, 6-4.

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Ahead of the match, the 11th seed of the tournament, Belinda Bencic, survived America’s, Lauren Davis. She won the match 6-3, 4-6, 6-1 under the hot sun in Australia.

As for the two-time Grand Slam champion, Svetlana Kuznetsova, she qualified for the second round without any trouble. She defeated doubles’ World No.2 Barbora Strycova 6-2, 6-2.

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Belinda wins the first set against Svetlana

The current World No.12 player, Bencic, started as a favorite for the match. Considering her unsettled performance in the last match, she looked more in control against her opponent.

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

However, the three-time quarterfinalist of the Australian Open, Kuznetsova, also kept her cool. They both held their serve for the first 10 games of the opening set.

Finally, edging ahead, the Swiss professional dominated the last two games with her strong arm. Going 1-0 down in the match, the 35-year-old Russian lost the set 7-5.

Kuznetsova hampers straight win for Bencic

The conditions inside Melbourne Park have their own role to play in the matches. This time around, it affected the 23-year-old player from Switzerland. Belinda looked tired as the second slipped away from her.

Undoubtedly, the veteran player used her experience to make most of the situation. By making the Swiss professional run all around the court, Kuznetsova found a lead in the second set.

At 1-5 down, Bencic knew she had to play the third set again. However, she gave one last shot before losing the set 2-6.

With the match tied at 1-1, the former World No.4 took a medical timeout. Bencic needed to feel right in her muscles before the decider.

WATCH: Iga Swiatek Crashes in Naomi Osaka’s Press Conference at Australian Open 2021

A hard-fought battle for both, Belinda Bencic survives

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

Starting afresh, the Swiss player got an early break in the final set. Belinda then gave away the lead, only to break Kuznetsova back again. Halfway down in the last set, the duo equal at stood 3-3.

But, it was Bencic who stood tall against the test of pressure, held her serve and broke the Russian again. At 5-3, the Swiss professional served for the match and lost 3 match points. However, she recovered them in the next game, sealing her entry in the third round.

In the on-court interview, Belinda congratulated her opponent. “We have played so many matches against Svetlana and every match went three sets and it was always so tight. That’s what I was expecting but of course, it wasn’t easy and well done to her for a good match,” she said.

Furthermore, the Swiss player expressed that she is still to find her A-game. “I wasn’t feeling great tennis-wise,” Belinda said.

“I’m still not where I want to be but I try to show my heart, try to fight as much as I can, even if I sometimes get angry… Just happy to be through and hopefully I can improve in the next round.”

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Moving forward, Belinda will need confidence in her next match where she will lock horns with the 18th seed, Elise Mertens, in the third round.

Today will sum up the second round matches of the Australian Open 2021, and the third round starts tomorrow. We are still 10 days away from knowing the champion of the tournament. So stay tuned.

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Purav Joshi

822 articles

Purav Joshi is a Tennis author at EssentiallySports. Having a degree in Films, Television and Media Production, he guided his passion for writing and journalism into the sport of aces and rallies. With over 2 years of experience as a copywriter, Purav has authored over 500 tennis articles.

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