Belinda Bencic and Kristyna Pliskova were pitted together in the second round of the tournament in Miami. Prior to the match today, Pliskova had already played three matches, as she had to come through qualifying. Meanwhile, Bencic had not played any matches due to having a bye into the second round.
This match was the first time Bencic and Pliskova had ever played each other, so both players would have been looking to get the upper hand in the head to head. Unfortunately for the Swiss player, injury halted her hopes of taking the lead in the head to head and progressing in the tournament.
Pliskova Goes Ahead In The Set
Pliskova served first in the set, and the Czech utilized her big serve to take the game with relative ease. Bencic then stepped up to the service line and got herself onto the scoreboard. The world number ten was 40-0 up in the following game, however, her inability to move around the court efficiently allowed Pliskova to take the game to deuce. Bencic eventually found a way to hold her serve and level the score in the set.
The first break point opportunity came in the third game of the set. Bencic found herself with the chance but could not take advantage of it. Pliskova was serving well and Bencic was struggling to return due to the power and placement of Pliskova's serves.
After fighting off a break point, Pliskova soon found herself with her own opportunity to break her opponent's serve. The Czech player made the most of the fact her opponent could not get around the court as efficiently as usual, to take her first break point opportunity. Pliskova was playing well, however, it was also visible to those who were watching that Bencic was not her usual self. There was only one more game played in the match, which saw Pliskova consolidate the break of serve with ease.
Injury Forces Bencic To Retire
During the changeover, Bencic requested that the trainer came onto court. While waiting for the trainer to arrive, the 19-year-old was clearly upset. The Swiss and the trainer had a brief conversation about what was bothering Bencic. From this, they both agreed that it was best for Bencic to retire from the match, and exit the tournament early.
News coming out after the match is that Bencic has a lower back injury. The WTA Insider tweeted this after the match, and it would explain why Bencic was unable to get around the court like she normally does.
Pliskova advances into the third round of the tournament in Miami where she will face Irina-Camelia Begu.