One of the more intriguing first round matches scheduled to take place on Monday afternoon in Beijing is between notable WTA competitors Ana Ivanovic and rising star Belinda Bencic. This will serve as the first ever meeting between the two and will likely be a match that garners significant attention from the viewing public.
Ivanovic is coming off a breathtaking week in Tokyo, where she played some magnificent tennis en route to her fourth title of the season. She defeated Caroline Wozniacki 6-2, 7-6(2) to lift the crown. She has now won a career-best 4 WTA titles in 2014 and 52 matches, which tops her previous best of 3 titles and 51 match wins in a year.
She followed up with outrageously quick turnaround in Wuhan the following day, where she was understandably forced to retire near the end of her first set against Anastasia Pavyluchenkova.
Following up on her remarkable quarter-final showing at the US Open earlier this month, Swiss youngster Belinda Bencic stormed past veteran Svetlana Kuznetsova, 6-3, 6-0 before losing to Lucie Safarova in the second round of the tournament. While she was unsuccessful against the durable Czech native, Bencic was clearly swelling with confidence and will be looking to add to that this week in Beiging.
Ivanovic and Bencic have never crossed paths previously on the professional tour, which adds to the intrigue and buildup to this contest. The odds should favour Ivanovic, who has played some inspired tennis throughout this season, yet one should not doubt the untapped talent that is Bencic.
Prediction: Ana Ivanovic in Three Sets