World number nine Belinda Bencic has a battle on her hands when she takes on the Russian Veronika Kudermetova in their second round match at the Doha Open on Tuesday, February 25. The match is scheduled for 7 pm local time (5 pm BST) and you can find the Belinda Bencic v Veronika Kudermetova live streaming options along with its preview, head to head and tips here.
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Belinda Bencic v Veronika Kudermetova Head to Head
Bencic and Kudermetova have played each other four times over the past two years. The Russian, surprisingly, leads 3-1 on head to head, with Bencic’s only win coming on the grass of Eastbourne in 2019. Kudermetova has defeated Bencic on grass, hard and indoor hard court surfaces.
Bencic Yet to Find Her Sweet Spot This Season
Bencic has played 12 matches and won and lost six apiece. While this would be a decent record for someone outside the top 50 or even top 30 in the rankings, Bencic looked like she was on the cusp of breaking forward and aiming for a top five spot.
She is currently ninth in the world and evidently has had a slow start to the season. A first round exit in her first tournament this season at Shenzhen was followed by a quarterfinal at Adelaide and third round exit at the Australian Open. And following that there have been losses at the Fed Cup and St. Petersburg Open (quarterfinal) which have left Bencic to do some thinking.
Her showing in the first round here at Doha left a lot to desire too. Playing against Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova, Bencic should not have had any issues making it through to the next stage. Instead she went down 6-1 in her first round before coming through in three.
What she would hope is she can grow into the tournament and get better as the week grows.
Kudermetova Aiming to Build on Career-High Ranking
22-year-old Kudermetova hit his career-best ranking of 38th in the world at the start of this week and will look to build on that. Faced with a tricky opponent in the form of Kristina Mladenovic, she overcame a second set bagelling to win that opener in three sets and move to the second round.
Earlier last week, she had qualified for the Dubai Open, and then stunned Dayana Yastremska in the first round before Garbine Muguruza got the better of her. She would have taken a lot of positives from that match too, having pushed the Spanish, Australian Open runner-up to a tough three-setter.
Kudermetova, who announced herself to the world last season with a $125k title, finished 2019 on a 48-26 win-loss record. And with a semifinal at Hobart already under her belt, it looks like she is ready to take that step further and win a WTA title.
Belinda Bencic v Veronika Kudermetova Predictions & Tips
Bencic is 4/7 to win this one but Kudermetova holds a positive win-loss record against her and should be able to push the Swiss player here.
Tip: Over 21.5 games in the match: 5/6 (Click here to get these odds with Unibet)