WTA Rising Star Belinda Bencic scored the first Top 5 win of her career at the BNP Paribas Open, battling past Caroline Wozniacki. Next up: another former World No.1.
WTA Staff

INDIAN WELLS, CA, USA - Belinda Bencic, one of the leading WTA Rising Stars, scored the biggest win of her career at the BNP Paribas Open, taking out Caroline Wozniacki in the third round.

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After a breakthrough 2014 season, it had been a tough start to 2015 for Bencic - she won just one round in her first four WTA main draws. But she's begun finding her best form again at Indian Wells and on Stadium 3 on Monday there was no stopping her - the No.31-seeded Swiss got critical breaks late in each set to send the No.4-seeded Wozniacki out after an hour and 40 minutes, 6-4, 6-4.

The most impressive stat? Bencic didn't even win a game the only other time they played.

"The difference was that I won a game!" Bencic joked afterwards. "No, I was really happy after the first game I won, obviously, but I think I played more solid today. In Istanbul I had maybe too much respect and I was afraid, nervous. Today I really had a good game plan. I did what I had to do out there.

"I served well and had some easy points on my serve because of that. It was a solid match."

"Honestly, it was two completely different matches," Wozniacki told reporters. "She was steady, she took the ball early and she served well, but I just didn't put three balls in play today. But hats off to her - she took advantage of that and she played well during the important points in the match today."

Bencic's win over the World No.5 was the first Top 5 win of her career. She had two Top 10 wins to her name before this, beating Angelique Kerber and Jelena Jankovic at the US Open last summer.

"I'm happy. Very happy. I'm really excited," Bencic said after finding out it was her first Top 5 win. "I always watched her on TV and when I was a small girl she was one of my idols, a role model for me and my game. So it makes me really proud to win today. It's really a big moment for me."

Awaiting Bencic in the next round is one of those previous Top 10 wins - Jankovic, the No.18 seed this fortnight, edged another WTA Rising Star, No.16 seed Madison Keys, by a 5-7, 6-4, 6-3 scoreline.

After dropping a marathon 53-minute first set, Jankovic was in all kinds of trouble in the second set, going down an early break, and in the third set too, falling behind 3-1. But she bounced back every time and ended up reeling off the last five games of the match to overcome the big-hitting Keys.

Bencic beat Jankovic in their only previous meeting, the aforementioned US Open clash last year.