LONDON, Great Britain - No.13 seed Belinda Bencic needed two sets to see off the always-dangerous Kaia Kanepi en route to the third round at Wimbledon.
One of the most consistent players of the season, Dubai champion Bencic came into the Grand Slam fortnight after reaching a final on grass at the Mallorca Open.
After fighting past Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova in the opening round, Bencic booked a battle against Kanepi, who has built up a reputation as a giant-slayer at Grand Slams: last year, the Estonian famously took down Simona Halep in the first round of the US Open.
But Bencic avoided the upset in style, and didn’t look in danger as she put in a strong performance to defeat Kanepi 6-3, 6-1 after an hour and 10 minutes.
Kanepi made the ideal start against the Swiss player, though, as she got off to an early lead with a break at 2-1. But that would be her only lead of the match as Bencic finally got going, breaking straight back to pull them level at 2-2.
The next few games unfolded in tense fashion, the momentum swinging back and forth as they both pushed to deuce in four of the last five games of the set. Finally, it was Bencic who capitalized on her opportunities, breaking late at 5-3 and serving out the set in a battle.
With the first set under her belt in such a hard-fought manner, Bencic came out firing and relaxed in the second. She reeled off the last six games of the set to break Kanepi three times and close out the match in straight sets.
Up next, Bencic will get an even bigger test as she takes on Alison Riske in the third round. The American loves playing on grass - she lifted the trophy in ‘s-Hertogenbosch - and defeated Ivana Jorovic in a three set thriller to advance, 6-2, 6-7(3), 9-7.