My favourite WTA match on Thursday’s line-up is all the way out on court 7 featuring Belinda Bencic and Madison Keys who will play each other for the first ever time. Both players have struggled during the clay court season, but this promises to be a fascinating match between two different styles of play. Bencic had lost four straight matches coming into Roland Garros, two of them in three tight sets against Ana Konjuh (in Prague) and Daria Gavrilova (in Rome). Facing Daniela Hantuchova in the first round of Roland Garros, Bencic delivered a confident display as she won in straight sets, 6-3 6-3.
Keys reached the final of Charleston but lost early in Madrid and Rome, losing to Kaia Kanepi and Bojana Jovanovski respectively. Keys picked up a couple more wins in Strasbourg including coming back from a seemingly impossible deficit to beat Mirjana Lucic-Baroni in a third set tiebreak… crazy match. Keys had a tough opener against Varvara Lepchenko at Roland Garros, a player she lost to at the start of the year, but this time she came through in two tight sets, 7-6(3) 6-3.
I’m really looking forward to this match although i’m unlikely to be able to watch it. I had this potential match-up circled on my drawsheet. I went for Keys pre-draw but it was a really tough decision. Bencic has struggled for wins of late, but I don’t feel she has been playing badly. She’s had a couple of tight matches not go her way. Her brattiness and emotion on court is still something that concerns me although it is important to remember she is still only 18 years old. Keys has the shots to overpower Bencic and that has been an issue for BB who has looked somewhat helpless against the big hitters. I’d say though that Bencic is the more comfortable player on clay and consistent too with Keys having the ability to blow hot and cold, particularly on this surface. Bencic will be playing on Court 7 again. I don’t often do this and i’ll probably regret it but i’ve changed my mind and i’m going for Belinda.
Prediction: Bencic d. Keys in 3 sets
Poll results: 71% correctly predicted that Makarova would beat Pereira and 69% correctly predicted that Muguruza would beat Giorgi.
ATP RG 2nd Round Predictions
Novak Djokovic d. Gilles Muller in 3 sets
Thanasi Kokkinakis d. Bernard Tomic in 5 sets
Richard Gasquet d. Carlos Berlocq in 4 sets
Kevin Anderson d. Yen-Hsun Lu in 3 sets
Jack Sock d. Pablo Carreno Busta in 4 sets
Borna Coric d. Tommy Robredo in 4 sets
Jurgen Melzer d. Andrey Kuznetsov in 5 sets
Rafael Nadal d. Nicolas Almagro in 3 sets (2 tight, 1 easy)
Andy Murray d. Joao Sousa in 3 sets
David Goffin d. Santiago Giraldo in 5 sets
John Isner d. Jeremy Chardy in 3 sets
Marin Cilic d. Andrea Arnaboldi in 3 sets
Leonardo Mayer d. Jerzy Janowicz in 4 sets
Simone Bolelli d. Viktor Troicki in 5 sets
David Ferrer d. Daniel Gimeno-Traver in 3 sets