Belinda Bencic earned the best defeat of the day at the Rogers Cup Wednesday. The 18-year-old Swiss teenager was able to withstand the fight of Caroline Wozniacki to upset the fifth ranked superstar 7-5, 7-5 on centre court in Toronto.
The Swiss star has been the best when playing the top ranked Dane winning the last two matches this season. Their recent meeting at Eastbourne had Bencic overthrowing Wozniacki before going on to win the tournament. The Dane has been dealing with some strains in her body that could affect her run or possible withdraw from the US Open. The signs showed during her opening round at the Bank of the West Classic where Varvara Lepchenko ousted her in straight sets.
If Wozniacki was ready to get into another tournament she will be able to give her a challenge. Bencic wont be sympathetic towards her opponent that she had a great push for success in the last month.
She opened the set with a two game lead on Wozniacki but watched her come back to fight for level terms through four games. While playing on Bencic’s serve she forced deuce and won the game point to get back on serve to try and gain the lead. The Dane looked more comfortable out there to the point that her game began to improve. It gave her the lead, which caused Bencic to take a pep talk from her father/coach.
Wozniacki continued her control of the set winning her third straight before having the ball in her hand where she completed a love service on Bencic to play for the set. The Swiss needed to stay in the set putting everything into her game. It was accomplished holding Wozniacki back on the break to come within a pair. The Dane looked for the game clincher but her efforts were being answered with offense from Bencic. She allowed her two game points before putting Game Nine in the books.
Wozniacki blew a third chance to put the 18 year old out of the running for the set as she controlled her serve against the Dane to save herself on deuce to win. A major momentum switch as she won her fourth straight now back in the lead for a second time and the chance to win the opening set.
Wozniacki looked tired at the end of the 11th game hoping that she could respond well with Bencic on the serve in the 12th. It was not meant to be as the Dane had so many chances to put the set out of reach for the teenager but instead watched her take a 1-0 set margin in the match. It took 56 minutes for the teenager to complete her run but knew that her first serve would require more work from it.
Wozniacki knew that she would need to be stronger than ever as well going into the second set, but despite being on serve, the response from Bencic only spelled trouble. After a brief fight on the break Wozniacki held serve but couldn’t breathe any sighs of relief. Bencic was on serve in Game Two where she began another push for a shift of control winning on two game points.
Wozniacki no longer wanted to be in a tie with Bencic, which in turn caused her to play offensively aggressive against her. The move gave her a 3-1 lead but it didn’t hold up as Bencic broke Wozniacki in the fifth to return to serve in the sixth. The Dane’s lead disappeared for a second time in the match as the Swiss teen was playing tough tennis that kept the match at an even contest.
They key change in leverage came in Game Nine where both players pushed it to deuce. In a huge victory Wozniacki fought back Bencic winning on a shot that had her on point to even the match. Bencic once again made Wozniacki suffer a setback, as she couldn’t hold off the Swiss allowing her to tie at five all and play on in the set.
Bencic made the biggest move of the match taking the important sixth game in the set that only meant a must win from the Dane. She went up 30-15 but the 18 year old got on match point where on the second serve the ball from Wozniacki went long ended the near two hour match to pull off the best upset of her season to date.
“I felt I played really good today,” Bencic said during her on court interview with Sportsnet. “It was a really tough match and I’m just happy that I can move on into the round of 16.” In Thursday’s matchup with Sabine Lisicki, Bencic will hope that she can have a similar but better result to continue her solid run north of the border.