WTA Eastbourne, 2nd Round Previews: Bencic v Keys, Bouchard v Riske

1. Belinda Bencic v Madison Keys (Eastbourne, R2)

BencicIt’s like London buses… Belinda Bencic and Madison Keys had never met before on the WTA tour before the French Open but the pair will now play each other for the second time in a month. In their first ever match-up, Keys comprehensively defeated Bencic in the second round of the French Open, 6-0 6-3. Keys skipped Birmingham due to illness and will play her first grass court match as the defending Eastbourne champion. Keys hasn’t looked great in practice, but that isn’t the be all and end all. Bencic played her first match on Sunday and defeated Mona Barthel, 6-3 7-6(6), coming from 5-2 down in the second set and saving a set point. Barthel was the better player for much of the second set, but Bencic was mentally stronger and did well to pull through in straight sets (see full match recap here).

Bencic is playing better than in Paris and with much more confidence. I think Belinda will get a set but it will be tough for her against Keys, who has a much better serve and could rip on the second serve, which was vulnerable against Barthel. If Keys is error-strewn, much like she was in her very first outing on grass last year in Birmingham, Bencic may have chances to grab a win…

Prediction: Keys d. Bencic in 3 sets

2. Eugenie Bouchard v Alison Riske (Eastbourne, R2)

RiskeThis match-up fascinates me… Eugenie Bouchard continues her search for wins of any kind as she takes on Alison Riske in second round action in Eastbourne. Riske played her first match on Sunday and defeated Alize Cornet, 6-0 6-3. I was expecting three crazy sets full of dramatic Alize… It never happened obviously. Bouchard hs lost 10 of her last 11 matches on the tour. It’s not the losses that have made the impact, but more the nature of them. In ‘s-Hertogenbosch, Bouchard was 4-0 up in the third set against Yaroslava Shvedova and lost 6-4. In Birmingham, she was dropped a third set bagel by Kristina Mladenovic. Bouchard has played some solid tennis in bursts but when it really matters and things get tight, she has played poorly and made some bad decisions. It’s obvious confidence is rock bottom right now.

Bouchard leads the head-to-head with Riske, 3-1 and has won their last three matches including a 6-2 6-3 win in Wuhan last year. Perhaps i’ve gone cuckoo but I feel like Genie could win this one. It will turn around for her at some part and it’s just wondering when. I like Alison so i’ll be happy if she wins this…

Prediction: Bouchard d. Riske in 2 tight sets

13 thoughts on “WTA Eastbourne, 2nd Round Previews: Bencic v Keys, Bouchard v Riske

  1. Alison Riske’s chances increase greatly if she pushes a third set. Knowing Bouchard, she is going to come out fighting and then..

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  2. I think Keys is also a choker. I have no ideas what is she doing on grass (not enough matches?).
    Bouchard will beat Bencic if they play in the next round. I gues Bouchard only has mental block, the rest is fine.

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    • I disagree and think Bencic could very well win this one. She was extraordinary against Keys. Her point construction and defence is so Hingis like, but she hits so much more aggressively and with real intent. Not to mention her serve was a real weapon. Bouchard will find it difficult trying to rush Bencic. And if Belinda can force Bouchard to overhit, which is fairly easy these days, then Genie will spray errors left right and centre.

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      • I can’t make my mind up about this one. I think I’d go Bencic… She played so well against an albeit below-par Keys. Bouchard was impressive today but I still feel she is skating on thin ice a little and Bencic is the kind of player that could cause her problems.

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  3. Safarova lost because she was out of focus and alsodoes not want to burn out and save her for Wimbledon or it was just sheer brilliance from other side.I didn’t watched the match

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    • I watched part of the match and Cibulkova was pretty brilliant. She clearly went out there with no real expectations or pressure to win and seemed to just enjoy herself in a way that she hasn’t in a long time outside of Melbourne.

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      • Agree. Domi was superb today. Lucie missed quite a few opportunities but have to admit that Domi was the better player and deserved the win today.

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