Switzerland’s No. 22 seed Belinda Bencic takes on unseeded Frenchwoman Kristina Mladenovic in the first round of the 2022 Australian Open on Monday, January 17. Get the live streaming options of this Belinda Bencic v Kristina Mladenovic match along with its preview, head to head, and tips here.
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Belinda Bencic v Kristina Mladenovic Head to Head
Kristina Mladenovic leads Belinda Bencic 5-3 in their series. Their sole outdoor hard court match came on Australian soil at the 2017 Hopman Cup. Mladenovic won that encounter in three sets. Last year, they split wins – Bencic winning in Madrid, and Mladenovic winning at the Italian Open.
Bencic Loses To Badosa Again
Belinda Bencic failed to address her losing record against Paula Badosa which now stands at 0-3. But she fought tooth and nail against the gritty Spaniard and pushed her to a third set for the second time in their rivalry.
But given that the Swiss woman was playing in her second match of the day following her rain-interrupted comeback win over Oceane Dodin, she was bound to be second best.
It is pertinent to note that Bencic had just recovered from Covid-19, and playing two matches in the space of a few hours is a tall order from a physical standpoint.
And on the bright side, the 24-year-old has at least fine-tuned her game and attained the minimum fitness levels required to compete fiercely at the Australian Open.
Bencic is seeded at No. 22 and has made the third round in each of the last three editions. She has only ever made the second week of the Happy Slam once in her career in her eight visits to Melbourne Park. Will it change when she opens up against a familiar foe?
Mladenovic Seeks Sixth Win Over Bencic
Kristina Mladenovic has a winning record over Belinda Bencic. And not only that, she has beaten Bencic five times in eight meetings. That could just be tonic the Frenchwoman needs to produce the upset on day one of the Australian Open.
And regardless of form or context, Mladenovic always fares well against the counter-punching Swiss. Worryingly though, the World No. 91 has not played in 2022. But you suspect this was due to Mladenovic finishing her 2021 season on Boxing Day last year.
The 28-year-old was teetering closely towards a Top 100 exit. But a runner-up finish at the WTA 125K event in Seoul kept her ranking afloat and qualified for the Australian Open main draw.
Mladenovic’s record at the Australian Open does not make for very good reading. She has won six matches from 10 tournament participations. Can she eradicate that record when she faces Bencic?
Bencic v Mladenovic Prediction and Tip
Mladenovic has always brought her best tennis to the table when she has faced Bencic before. There was nothing so special about Mladenovic’s 2021 season but still found room to fit a win over the inconsistent Swiss. We are backing the World No. 91 to steal a set.