17-year-old Belinda Bencic will continue her remarkable campaign in New York on Sunday afternoon, when she contests a fourth round battle against Serbian Jelena Jankovic. This is the first time that the two will meet in a tour-level match and should make for compelling television viewing.
Ninth seed Jankovic concluded a completely one sided match against Johanna Larsson, whom she promptly defeated 6-1, 6-0. The Serb fired 3 aces, won 84% of her first service points and converted on 5 of 10 break point opportunities to secure the win in 58 minutes.
“It was nice actually to get out of the court quite fast,” said Jankovic. “You know, it’s quite hot out there. I woke up early. It’s my first match at 11:00, so, you know, I wanted to get the job done as soon as possible. I was very focused from the beginning till the end. I played a solid match. I did not — I was very patient. I did not go for too much. I waited for my chances to execute. That’s what I did. I’m pretty pleased. You know, I’m in the fourth round and looking forward to playing.”
Although 15-year-old CiCi Bellis was the teenager with the most buzz this week in the United States Open, it is 17-year-old Belinda Bencic who has risen to the occasion in New York. Following two impressive opening rounds, the Swiss youngster ousted former semi-final Angelique Kerber 6-1, 7-5 in a dominant performance. Bencic stormed to a 3-0 lead in the opening set and even rebounded from 5-2 down in the second set to earn the well-deserved victory.
“I played a really good match right from the start,” Bencic said. “I had a little bit of a lapse in the second set, but I’m happy that I came back. It’s amazing that last year I played in the juniors here, and this year I’m in the fourth round.
“I’m happy I could turn it around in the second set and not have to go to the third set. I just started playing aggressive again and serving better, and all the small things I just started doing better again.”
Considering the seeds exodus in the ladies draw, there should be no doubt in Bencic’s abilities to overcome her Serbian opponent. Whether an upset will actually occur on Sunday is another aspect entirely, but the Swiss youngster’s previous performances warrant an upset alert.
Prediction: Belinda Bencic in Three Sets