Rain, rain, rain… I hear rain on my window and keep seeing rain on my TV screen. Rain is threatening to make it a late night/morning in Cincy. Two players who have managed to make it through to the third round are Lucie Safarova and Belinda Bencic… this is an interesting one as most will know that Lucie is my favourite player and Belinda is easily in my top five. I just want to take this moment to say that what Belinda is doing right now is pretty incredible. The Swiss player is on an eight match winning streak having won Toronto last week. All eight victories have come against top 30 players. Pretty amazing. The way she has transitioned between Toronto and Cincy. I’m just blown away! I said on my predictions page I would bow down to Belinda if she won today and I assure you i’m doing that right now…
Bencic defeated Angelique Kerber in the first round of Cincy, 7-5 6-3. It wasn’t a great match and the atmosphere was so flat. Kerber blew hot and cold, pretty much arctic at the end. Bencic had her wavering moments but there was plenty of good in there with a couple of gorgeous angled winners and generally owning the big points.
Bencic followed that up with a 6-1 6-4 win over Flavia Pennetta where she didn’t even face a break point. Pennetta’s racked up some great wins this year (despite her inconsistencies) and I really did think the Italian would win that… WRONG.
Lucie won her first match since Wimbledon against the player she lost to in the fourth round, CoCo Vandeweghe. The first set was the usual jamboree of fun for all Lucie fans. She went up *4-0 in the first set, lost her double break, but then held on from 4-4 *15-30 before breaking again to seal the first set. The second set went with serve right up until the end. The rain came with Lucie stuck on match point! On the resumption, it needed just one point. I was worried about this match… for Lucie to beat someone she lost to very recently and have no closing out dramas is basically a rip-roaring success!
Lucie and Belinda last played in Tokyo where Lucie came from a set down to win, 3-6 6-4 6-2. I remember going for Belinda in that match! It’s tough to make an informed analysis because both their matches were not streamed on Wednesday. Belinda must be feeling tired but at the same time, confidence is SKY HIGH. The win over CoCo will have been a big one for Lucie and also, winning the doubles with Beth in Toronto was noteworthy too.
I’m scared to say this so i’ll whisper… I have a positive feeling about Lucie for this match. It won’t be easy because Belinda is just rocking it right now but i’m going for Lucie in three.