NEW YORK, NY, USA -- No.13 seed Belinda Bencic of Switzerland advanced to the fourth round of the US Open via walkover, after No.21 seed Anett Kontaveit of Estonia withdrew from their scheduled third-round tilt due to a viral illness.
The two Top 25 players were due to face off for their first meeting, but World No.12 Bencic instead moves through to the round of 16 without striking a ball on Saturday, following her first two wins over Mandy Minella and Alize Cornet in the opening rounds.
It is Bencic's first appearance in the US Open second week since she sensationally made the quarterfinals as a 17-year-old in her tournament debut in 2014, where she notched the first two Top 10 wins of her career over Angelique Kerber and Jelena Jankovic en route.
Anett Kontaveit has withdrawn from her R3 singles match vs. Belinda Bencic due to illness.
Bencic advances to R4 where she will face the winner of Osaka vs. Gauff. pic.twitter.com/XwmlUqAAOQ
— US Open Tennis (@usopen) August 31, 2019
Former World No.7 Bencic is having a resurgent 2019 as she edges closer to a possible return to the Top 10. Bencic has posted more Top 5 victories (five) and Top 10 victories (eight) than anyone else on tour this season, and claimed her first WTA singles title since 2015 at Dubai in February.
Four of Bencic's Top 10 wins this year came during her Dubai title run, and she picked up two more Top 10 wins in her very next event when she reached the semifinals at Indian Wells. She also reached a second final of the season in Mallorca before falling to Sofia Kenin.
Bencic now has a stirring fourth-round encounter in the offing: she will face the winner of the Saturday night blockbuster between teenage sensation Coco Gauff and World No.1 and defending US Open champion Naomi Osaka.