Belinda Bencic of Switzerland, the number one seed, will face Svetlana Kuznetsova of Russia in the second round of the WTA St. Petersburg Open on Wednesday, February 12. The match will be played at around 7 pm local time (6 pm BST). You can find the Belinda Bencic v Svetlana Kuznetsova live streaming options along with its preview, head to head and tips here.
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Belinda Bencic v Svetlana Kuznetsova Head to Head
The pair have met three times before. Bencic won in Tokyo in 2014 and again last year in Madrid, whilst Kuznetsova won in Wuhan in 2016, when the Swiss woman was forced to retire from their match.
Bencic’s Recent Form has been Patchy
22 year old Bencic is now up to five in the WTA world standings, her highest ever ranking, following a 2019 which saw her win two titles – in Dubai and at the Kremlin Cup – and also reach the final in Mallorca. On top of that she recorded her best ever performance at a Grand Slam, reaching the semi-finals of the US Open. She qualified for the WTA finals for the first time and got through the round robin stage in Singapore, only to lose to Elina Svitolina.
Her results in 2020 have been mixed, losing in the first round in Shenzen, and at the third round stage in Adelaide. She also got to the third round in Melbourne, but she was then thrashed by Ana Kontaveit in straight sets, winning just a single game off the Estonian.
That variable form continued into the Fed Cup last week. She beat Gabriela Dabrowski of Canada in her first match, but then was beaten in straight sets in front of her home fans in Biel by 17 year old Leylah Annie Fernandez, a player 181 places lower than her in the WTA rankings.
Kuznetsova, a Multi-Grand Slam winner
Now 34 years old, Kuznetsova has had a stellar career, appearing in four Grand Slam singles finals and winning two – the US Open in 2004, and the French Open in 2009. She has also won the doubles twice at the Australian Open, and appeared in a final at each of the other three Grand Slams.
However, that was in the heyday of the former world number two, which was a decade ago – she has not won a WTA title for two years, although she was a beaten finalist in Cincinnati last year.
Injury has hampered her progress in recent years, but, now fully fit again, she is hoping to climb up the rankings again.
However, like Bencic she has not started the year well. She lost in the first round in Hobart to the Pole, Magda Linette,. and although she overcame the Czech Marketa Vondrousova in the first round in Melbourne, she then lost to the world 109 Camila Giorgi in straight sets.
She faced a potentially very tough opponent in the first round on Tuesday in the form of Jennifer Brady, but beat the American comfortably in straight sets, dropping just four games in the process.
Belinda Bencic v Svetlana Kuznetsova Predictions & Tips
This is a potentially tough match for the number one seed against the former multi-Grand Slam winner playing in front of her home fans. Bencic has age on her side, but will need to up her game considerably on her recent performances if she is to progress.
Tip: Bencic to win in three sets: 15/8 (Click here to get these odds with Unibet)