World number 12 Belinda Bencic will take on the 34th-ranked and Russia’s Ekaterina Alexandrova in the second round of the 2021 WTA Stuttgart Open on Thursday, April 19. Get the live streaming options of this Belinda Bencic v Ekaterina Alexandrova match along with its preview, head to head, and tips here.
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Belinda Bencic v Ekaterina Alexandrova Head to Head
There have been two previous matches played between these two players and both players have registered one win each. Both matches came in 2019 with Bencic winning the first at the Indian Wells Open third round while Alexandrova made it 1-1 on the grass courts of Eastbourne later that season.
Bencic Eases Past Schunk
18-year-old Natasja Schunk was on her WTA main draw debut and while she gave a decent account of herself in her first round match against Bencic, the Swiss world number 12 came through in straight sets.
Bencic did need an hour and a half to get past Schunk though, winning 6-4, 6-2, even dropping her serve once in the first set. Having lost in the first round at Charleston in her first clay court tournament earlier this month, Bencic exchanged breaks of serves in the first set to take the score to 3-3, before she broke her teenaged opponent in the seventh game.
That proved to be a decisive break for Bencic who served it out, but not before having to save a break-point in that game.
The second set proved to be a lot easier for Bencic who broke Schunk twice to race to a 5-1 lead and while her opponent saved five match-points on her own serve, the former world number four finished it off her own serve to complete the victory.
Things can be expected to get a lot tougher from here on for Bencic.
Alexandrova in a Three-Set Tussle
While Karolina Muchova’s form in recent times has been more on show on hard court surfaces, she had come into her first round match against Alexandrova as a favourite. And when she took the first set against the Russian, it looked like the match was headed her way as was thought to be the case.
That was after Alexandrova had taken a 3-1 lead in the opening set and lost five of the following six games.
Alexandrova broke immediately in the second set, then saved four break-points in a longish seventh game before breaking again to level the match. And then in a change of fortunes, she broke early in the third set as well, holding on to her serve throughout the set to clinch the match.
This was the Russian’s first win on clay since her third round defeat at the French Open last year. Not exactly at her best on clay, Alexandrova would take this win over Muchova as bit of a turning point and will start off in second round with a fair chance.
Bencic v Alexandrova Prediction and Tip
Alexandrova might be the second favourite in this one at 11/10 but given Bencic’s recent form including even in her opening win here, we will be backing the Russian to get past her opponent here.
Tip: Alexandrova to win: 11/10 (bet365)