Top seed Belinda Bencic of Switzerland will take on sixth seed Greek, Maria Sakkari in the 2020 WTA St. Petersburg Open on Friday, February 14. The match is scheduled to start at 2 pm local time (11 am BST). You can find the Belinda Bencic v Maria Sakkari live streaming options along with its preview, head to head and tips here.
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Belinda Bencic v Maria Sakkari Head to Head
This will be the second meeting between the two players. They had met last year on the hard courts at the Hopman Cup. Sakkari had won in straight sets on that occasion.
Bencic Coming off a Victory Over Local Favourite Kuznetsova
Bencic began the 2019 season outside of the top 50 in the rankings. But currently, just over a year later, she is the world number five, her highest-ever ranking. This came about on the back of a strong 2019 campaign. She had an impressive win-loss record of 51-25 last year and two titles. She also registered her best-ever showing at Grand slam by reaching the semi-finals at the US Open.
But Bencic has struggled for rhythm at the start of this season. She lost in the opening round at Shenzhen and lost to lower-ranked opponents both at Adelaide and in Melbourne. Her form didn’t improve much at the Fed cup either. But a straight-sets victory over Svetlana Kuznetsova in the previous round here shall give her a lot of confidence.
She was the 2016 finalist here in St. Petersburg. This year she will be looking to go one step further and put an end to her early-season struggles.
Sakkari Improving Her Terrible Indoor Courts Record
Coming into this tournament, Sakkari had not won a match on the Indoor courts since 2015. She was on an eight-match losing streak before she finally managed to win a match on the surface. Her performances have improved further as she got past Alize Cornet in the second round.
Currently ranked 21 in the world, the 24-year-old has shown consistent progress on the tour for each of the past three years. She reached her first semi-final on the tour in 2017. She also achieved her first victory over a top 10 player when she beat Caroline Wozniacki at Wuhan Open. In 2018 she reached her first-ever final and went one step further last year by winning her maiden title at Rabat.
With her third-round victory over Maddison Keys at the Australian Open, she achieved a unique achievement. She has surpassed her mother, a former WTA tour player, Angeliki Kanellopoulou in terms of best ever Grand Slam showing, career ranking and performance at a tour event.
Belinda Bencic v Maria Sakkari Predictions & Tips
This is likely to be a close contest. Bencic has a very good record on the indoor surface. Sakkari, on the other hand, has played well this week and has won four of her last five matches.
Tip: Bencic to win in three sets: 3/1 (Click here to get these odds with Unibet)