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Wimbledon Saturday: Bencic's Big Chance

Last year's Wimbledon junior champion Belinda Bencic faces the latest test of her progress in the senior ranks as she takes on No.3 seed Simona Halep for a place in the fourth round.

Published June 27, 2014 12:13

Wimbledon Saturday: Bencic's Big Chance
Belinda Bencic

LONDON, England - WTA Rising Stars Belinda Bencic and Eugenie Bouchard are both in third round action on Saturday, taking on Simona Halep and Andrea Petkovic.

Saturday, Third Round

No.2 Court
[3] Simona Halep (ROU #3) vs. Belinda Bencic (SUI #71)
first meeting
Last summer, Belinda Bencic followed in the footsteps of her famous compatriot Martina Hingis by winning back-to-back junior titles at Roland Garros and Wimbledon. Nationality and junior trophy hauls are not the only thing the two share in common, though. Bencic, who occasionally trains under the watchful eye of Hingis' mother and former coach, Melanie Molitor, is in possession of a cerebral game with more than a passing resemblance to the five-time major winner's.

While she has some catching up to do if she is to match Hingis' teenage achievements, there is no doubt that Bencic has made the transition from juniors to seniors with similar ease. In just her third major, she has already done well to make it this far and will have drawn further encouragement from how her next opponent, No.3 seed Simona Halep, struggled to overcome World No.170 Lesia Tsurenko.

"Of course I'm going onto the court thinking I have a chance to beat her and I really want to win," Bencic said after her second round win over Victoria Duval. "Of course, she just played the French Open final and she's the No.3 seed here, so I will have no pressure. I will try to give my best and fight."

No.3 Court
[13] Eugenie Bouchard (CAN #13) vs. [20] Andrea Petkovic (GER #20)
 Petkovic leads 3-0
Another former junior champion looking to book a place in the last 16 is Eugenie Bouchard, who takes on crowd favorite Andrea Petkovic. Bouchard gives off the impression of someone with no intention of resting on her laurels, and for all her success in 2014, it is clear she is still hungry for more.

However, she is far too savvy to look beyond Petkovic, a player that has given her trouble in the past. In fact, the German has won all three of their encounters. The first of these came in only Bouchard's second WTA main draw tournament, while the most recent was a rollercoaster three-set defeat in Charleston earlier this year.

"It's a rematch of Charleston. I'm looking forward to it," Bouchard said. "I know she's a really good fighter and I've lost to her a few times now. I'm definitely going to be really motivated, just try to play my tennis and really try to take it to her."

Stat to watch: Bencic is bidding to become the youngest player to reach the fourth round at Wimbledon since Tamira Paszek in 2007.

Also on court...
Serena Williams and Maria Sharapova look to stay on course for their much-anticipated quarterfinal match-up, taking on Alizé Cornet and Alison Riske, respectively. 

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