A highly compelling contest has been slotted for the opening day of main draw action at the French Open, as former world No. 1 Venus Williams and rising Swiss star Belinda Bencic meet on Court Suzanne Lenglen on Monday afternoon. This is just the second time these two competitors will meet on the professional circuit, with Venus winning their only other encounter in the 2012 Luxemburg tournament.
Williams began her season by reaching the finals in Auckland. She would take it one step further in Dubai, where she would win her third title at the event, extending her undefeated streak to 15-0. However, since winning in Dubai at the end of February, the American has played only two tournaments, losing in the last 16 in both Miami and Charleston before withdrawing from Kuala Lumpur to recover from a strep throat infection. She followed up by withdrawing from Madrid but now appears to be healthy and prepared for the Rome Open.
Belinda Bencic’s best week on the tour this season took place at the Family Circle Cup, where she reached the semi-final round of the event, defeating the likes of Maria Kirilenko, Marina Erakovic, Elina Svitolina and Sara Errani before losing to Williams’ vanquisher Jana Cepelova. It was a remarkable week for a player who was ranked outside of the Top 100 and had to work her way through the qualifying rounds.
This marks the second time these two competitors meet on the professional tour, and while these is no denying that Bencic has the potential to become a future star, she will be an significant underdog against Venus Williams. While the American is an inconsistent performer, there is no denying that she has been a resurgent force in 2014. It will be interesting to see how this contest plays out.
Prediction: Venus Williams in Three Sets