The second semifinal of the ongoing BNP Paribas Open will have Angelique Kerber face an uphill battle against the determined, in-form Belinda Bencic on Friday. The match will be played on March 15 after 9:00 pm local time (5:00 am BST the next day). Get Angelique Kerber v Belinda Bencic live streaming options here.
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Angelique Kerber v Belinda Bencic Head to Head
In the four times that Kerber and Bencic have met so far, the Swiss has won on three occasions and presently leads by 3-1.
More impressively, all three of those wins came between 2014 and 2016 on the hard surface. Back then, Bencic was in a brilliant form just like now and we may very well see her add to the tally once again.
Bencic’s Win-Loss Record Keeps Improving
This is the second time in a row this season that Bencic has made it to the semifinal. Her last tournament was the WTA Dubai, where she won her first title in almost three years. She achieved this feat in an impressive manner, defeating Aryna Sabalenka, Simona Halep, Elina Svitolina and Petra Kvitova.
She was also the semifinalist in Hobart earlier this season but that time, she lost to Anna Karolina Schmiedlova. Between then and now, she had a couple of uneventful stints in the Australian Open and St. Petersburg Open.
After struggling with form and injuries for a considerably long period of time, the Swiss is finally back to her former self (if not, better) and is firing on all cylinders. Despite getting a tricky draw, Bencic has made it to the semifinal without any major issues.
Her run started with straight-set victories over Alison Van Uytvanck and Ekaterina Alexandrova, which she followed with a 6-3, 6-1 win over the defending champion Naomi Osaka. Then, in the quarterfinal, Bencic defeated Karolina Pliskova in three sets.
A Real Challenge for Kerber
The former World No. 1 and the reigning Wimbledon champion hasn’t had the cleanest of starts to the year. She incurred a significant drop in her ranking owing to a lack of blockbuster runs on the tour.
While Kerber did reach the semifinal in Doha, she ended up losing in the third round to Su-Wei Hsieh in Dubai. In fact, her present season has largely been marked with these unexpected defeats against the lowly-ranked players.
However, the German has certainly managed to revive herself in Indian Wells, starting with a fourth-round win against Aryna Sabalenka and then, a clinical win over Venus Williams in the quarterfinal.
Kerber v Bencic Predictions & Tips
Between the two, Bencic has been in a far better form than the German. She has the momentum and confidence with her while Kerber has been shaky at times over the course of the last fortnight. This will be a tough test for the number 8 seed but if she gets out of this as a winner, then she will be primed to go the distance.
Tip: Three sets in the match: 13/8 (Betfair)
You can watch & bet on Angelique Kerber v Belinda Bencic on Friday, March 15 here . The match is scheduled after 9:00 pm local time (5:00 am BST the next day).