World number 10 Belinda Bencic will be one of the latest players from among the top ones in the world to feature on the circuit on resumption when she takes on Montenegro’s Danka Kovinic in the second round of the 2020 Italian Open on Wednesday, September 16. The match will begin at around 11 am local time (10 BST). Get the live streaming options of this Belinda Bencic v Danka Kovinic match along with its preview, head to head, and tips here.
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Belinda Bencic v Danka Kovinic Head to Head
There has been one previous outing between Bencic and Kovinic. It came on the clay court of Charleston in 2015, and Kovinic turned around a set deficit to shock Bencic in three sets.
Bencic’s Practiced on Clay During Break
As with most of the other players, Bencic was involved in competitive tennis during the pandemic break, featuring in exhibition competitions around the world. She played in four tournaments, three of which came on clay and on those red dirt competitions, Bencic finished with a win-loss record of 8-1.
Bencic’s best performance came at the Tipsport Elite Trophy where she defeated the French Open finalist Marketa Vondrousova 6-0, 6-4.
Earlier in the season, Bencic, who had had a solid 2019, had had a few frustrating results coming her way. A quarterfinal exit at the Adelaide International, a third round ouster at the Australian Open and 3-3 on win-loss over the next three tournaments in St. Petersburg, Dubai and Doha punctuating her first part of the season.
Bencic returns after having taken a well-earned break though – the former world number four had played 76 matches last year, her most in a year.
Kovinic Crushes Goerges
Julia Goerges had gone into the first round of the Italian Open as a favourite to get past the qualifier Kovinic but we had had an inkling of what might happen. What we did not predict is how it would happen.
Kovinic was in irresistible form as she crashed through Goerges’ defences, routing her for a 6-1, 6-0 victory in the opening round. This was after the world number 86 had earlier made it to the quarterfinal at the Istanbul Cup and then jumped over to Rome to participate in the qualifiers here, winning two of them to qualify for the main draw.
While it did not happen on clay, the advantage Kovinic had coming into the post-pandemic season, is her form during the Eastern European Championship. Played in Serbia, Kovinic featured in 10 matches there and won every single one of them, of which eight came in straight sets.
The 25-year-old was once ranked in the top 50 but a couple of such results would go a long way in helping her reach her career-best of 46th in the world.
Bencic v Kovinic Prediction & Tip
Bencic is 4/6 to win this which is rather long odds for someone ranked 10th in the world while Kovinic starts off at 11/10 and given how things are, this could get be a difficult one to call. Three-setter looks likely.
Tip: Three sets in the match: 6/4 (bet365)