A compelling contest between 17-year-old Belinda Bencic and Czech No. 2 Lucie Safarova is scheduled to take place in the second round of the Toray Pan Pacific Open on Wednesday afternoon. This will serve as the first meeting between the rising WTA star and the veteran competitor and will likely be an entertaining encounter.
Seventh seed Lucie Safarova needed three sets to dispatch her opening round opponent Madison Keys, 6-7(4), 6-4, 6-2. The contest lasted well over two hours and required the Czech to recover from a disappointing tiebreak loss in the opening set.
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 to reach the second round of the tournament. She was clearly swelling with confidence and appeared assured with her shot-making abilities throughout the match.
“My first WTA win came here last year, so I have very positive impression of Japan. I always seem to play well here, so I’m happy to be back,” Bencic said. “It’s now a year I’ve been playing in the seniors and I really love it.
“I don’t really like to set myself goals for a ranking, because I think it creates unnecessary pressure, but of course, I’d love to be in the Top 30 as soon as possible. I’m not sure when, but I think if I get good results, it will come automatically.”
This marks the first time these two competitors will meet on the professional tour and could prove to be another grueling encounter for Safarova. Bencic is playing some poised tennis and will be tempted to pick up another upset victory en route to the quarter-final round.
Prediction: Belinda Bencic in Three Sets