Belinda Bencic continued her path of destruction at the Rogers Cup Friday night. The 18 year old made it four upsets in a row after defeating Serbian Ana Ivanovic in straight sets 6-4 6-2 at Aviva Tennis Centre to advance to the semifinals
The 18-year-old Swiss star reached another high point in the tournament, yet again going against a tough opponent. The Eastbourne tournament winner takes on the Serb for a second time hoping to have a better outcome. Last year, Ivanovic handled the teenager in straight sets allowing three games in the opening round at Beijing.
Things could be going her during the second half of the WTA season as she tries to get through the US Open series to try and best her quarterfinal appearance at Flushing Meadows. Before she can get there the matter at hand will to bring her best that defeated the likes of Caroline Wozniacki and Eugenie Bouchard. She made a dramatic comeback against Sabine Lisicki returning from 1-6 in the second set to hold the tiebreaker in the third. If her performance repeated, it could make her the one left to beat in the tournament.
In a surprise, Ivanovic found herself in a whole early unable to get her game rolling off the racket. The 18-year-old Swiss took a 2-0 lead moving the Serb around before striking at the right moment. She allowed Ivanovic a victory in the third that turned out to be too much leverage allowed. In Game Four Ivanovic took the teen for a run before she climbed back on serve to force deuce, the battle went on for seven minutes when the Serb captured the key point to level up with Bencic at two.
Bencic answered well in Game Five taking a 0-40 lead before the Serb tallied each time for the break point save. She got it even on long ball from Bencic to force deuce that would determine who would reign in the lead. Ivanovic’s strategy of allowing her opponent little room on court got it done with a solid shot back to jump ahead for the first time.
Each time a new game began; it was the teen setting the bar for Ivanovic to overcome. Although she was able to cover the margin, it was the one time Bencic would hold serve to even back at three all. The two continued to trade off wins but it was Bencic still leading, as she wanted to be in control of how the remainder of the match dictated itself.
She led 5-4 on Ivanovic with the serve in hand. Her strategy on ball layouts had the Serb making quick decisions on the return that got her into trouble. Bencic landed the set point out of reach of Ivanovic to end the set in 45 minutes. The teen was serving above 70 percent while returning 19 of 32 on the mark.
The set continued to have big bouts on deuce as the two would go deep into the draw until someone found a good shot for the point. For Bencic, she was first to break in the set on Ivanovic’s opening serve. Things only got better for the Swiss tennis teen as she took a 3-0 hold on the Serb halfway to pulling off an upset. The former number one was being owned by Bencic who was looking like a number one as she got within two of the match before Ivanovic tried to strike on the board. After four breaks, the Serb got on the advantage and launched a perfect ace on the line to end Bencic’s six game winning streak. The accomplishment was short lived as the teen captured a fifth victory looking to close out the Serb. Ivanovic wanted nothing more than to extend the set at any cost.
She was lucky to get it done on serve but with Bencic back on the ball her chances would be entirely up to how well she responded. She found herself down 0-40 but saved it once on a clean volley before her shot on the next serve went long that sent Bencic screaming in excitement.
She completed a fourth upset in the tournament defeating another one of the best in route to the semifinals. The straight sets victory took just under 90 minutes to conclude with her having a solid strategy on court. She finished serving at 68 percent with her second serve getting the biggest improvement of all.
Aside from her performance on court, the list of victories is still something that can’t be misconstrued. In her run to defeating Ivanovic, she defeated the likes of Eugenie Bouchard, Caroline Wozniacki and Sabine Lisicki. “I have played four amazing matches, just incredible and today I played amazing so I’m really happy I really feel the balls on my serve,” Bencic said to Sportsnet’s Caroline Cameron.
With all those defeats, the one that will stand in her way of the final is Serena Williams who serves and returns with dominating strength. Bencic will try not to let that bother her as getting to this point is the exciting part. “I just want to enjoy the semifinal but I will be sure go out with a plan and just keep playing as I did today.”