BEIJING, China - No.9 seed Belinda Bencic is through to the round of 16 at the China Open, but she was made to work after coming back from a set down against Venus Williams, 3-6, 6-3, 7-5.
Competing at Beijing for the first time since 2016, Venus was looking to earn her first back-to-back wins in the Chinese capital since 2014. But she ran up against an on-fire Bencic, who claimed her first victory since the US Open in the last round against Hsieh Su-Wei in straight sets.
Bencic came into the matchup against the seven-time Grand Slam champion trailing 1-4 in the pair’s head-to-head record, with her only victory coming at the 2018 Australian Open.
The No.9 seeded Bencic struck 26 winners and 40 unforced errors in the tightly-contested clash against Venus, who struck 24 and 32 of her own, respectively. In the end, only two points separated Bencic (95) and Venus (93), with Bencic breaking four times from nine chances and Venus three from nine.
With the victory Bencic claims her 43rd main draw win of 2019, a season that includes lifting her third career WTA title in Dubai, as well as three victories over a World No.1-ranked player - all coming over Naomi Osaka in Indian Wells, Madrid and the US Open.
Up next for Bencic, she’ll await the winner between No.7 seed Petra Kvitova and Kristina Mladenovic in the third round.
More to follow...