WTA s-Hertogenbosch: Belinda Bencic comes from behind to defeat Varvara Lepchenko
Belinda Bencic during the match. Photo: Ricoh Open Website.

Belinda Bencic and Varvara Lepchenko walked onto the court for their match knowing that a victory would see them progress into the quarterfinal of the tournament. Prior to their match today, the two players had never been drawn against, so both  Bencic and Lepchenko knew that they also had the opportunity to get the first ever victory against their opponent.

After around an hour and fifty minutes, it was Bencic who picked up the victory to progress in the tournament. In a match full of errors, Bencic eventually managed to find a way to defeat Lepchenko in three sets.

Lepchenko gets decisive break

Lepchenko served first in the match and got off to a strong start as she held her service with ease. Bencic then stepped up to the service line and comfortably won the game, to get herself on the scoreboard. The first break point chances arose in the third game of the set. Bencic worked herself into a position where she had two chances to break Lepchenko and put herself ahead in the match. Unfortunately for the Swiss youngster, an error and some good play from Lepchenko quickly ended any hope she had to break Lepchenko and allowed Lepchenko to eventually hold her serve.

Bencic was left ruing the missed chances in the very next game. The number one seed hit a number of errors and double faults which put Lepchenko 40-0 ahead. Bencic managed to fight off all three of Lepchenko's break point chances and take the score in the game to deuce. Bencic gifted Lepchenko another opportunity to take the game, but once again the Swiss youngster found a way to prevent Lepchenko from taking the game. Lepchenko eventually made Bencic pay for her errors as she broke the Swiss at the fifth time of asking.

Lepchenko and Bencic both comfortably held their next two service games, taking the score to 5-3 and giving Lepchenko the chance to serve for the set. The American did not falter as she fended of Bencic to take the game and the set with her first opportunity, putting herself in a commanding position in the match.

Varvara Lepchenko put herself in a strong position in the match. Photo: Julian Finney/Getty Images
Varvara Lepchenko put herself in a strong position in the match. Photo: Julian Finney/Getty Images

Bencic battles back

Bencic seemed to have put the disappointment of losing the first set behind her, as she raced to a 2-o lead in the second set. The number one seed opened the set with a love hold before capitalizing on her second break point opportunity, to break Lepchenko and give herself an early lead in the set. Bencic's lead did not last long though, as she hit a number of errors to allow Lepchenko to break her back straight away. Lepchenko then consolidate the break to level the score in the set.

In the sixth game, Bencic had another opportunity to put herself ahead in the set. The young Swiss player worked herself three separate break point chances, however, she failed to take any of them as Lepchenko battled hard to prevent Bencic from winning the game. After saving all three of Bencic's break point chances, Lepchenko went on to win the game herself.

Bencic got the decisive break in the eighth game. The 19-year-old made the most of some poor play by Lepchenko to take the game and put herself in a position to level the score in the match. Bencic stepped up to the service line knowing that if she held her serve she would take the match to a third set. Lepchenko was not willing to go down with a fight though, and she made Bencic work very hard to take the game. Lepchenko prevented Bencic from taking her first two set point chances, but in the end, she gave the Swiss one chance too many which allowed Bencic to level the score in the match.

Belinda Bencic fought hard to take the match to a decisive third set. Photo: Ricoh Open Website
Belinda Bencic fought hard to take the match to a decisive third set. Photo: Ricoh Open Website

Bencic capitalizes on Lepchenko's errors

Lepchenko came into the third set, fresh off a conversation with her coach. The conversation clearly worked as Lepchenko got herself onto the scoreboard with a strong hold of service. Unfortunately for the American, she was soon behind as Bencic broke in the third game. Bencic played some good shots and capitalized on a number of mistakes by Lepchenko to break with her first chance.

Unlike in the previous set, Bencic managed to consolidate the break. The 19-year-old showed glimpses of her pre-injury play as she comfortably won her service game. Bencic looked to be in total control, and she soon found herself with more chances to break Lepchenko. This time around though, Lepchenko managed to fend off the break point chances Bencic had. The American then went on to win the game and keep herself within touching distance of Bencic.

Bencic was clearly frustrated with herself for not taking her chances in the previous game. Her frustration led to her losing the first two points of the game, however, aided by a number of errors from Lepchenko, the young Swiss player managed to get through the game and extend her lead once more.

Things went from bad to worse for Lepchenko in the seventh game. The American started to hit more and more errors whilst Bencic slightly improved her shot selection. Despite Lepchenko's best efforts she could do nothing to prevent Bencic from breaking her for the second time in the set. With the double break and a 5-2 lead, Bencic stepped up to serve knowing that if she won the game, she would book herself a place in the quarterfinals. The number one seed raced to a 40-0 lead in the game but Lepchenko was not willing to lose the match without making Bencic working for it. Lepchenko saved two of Bencic's three match points but in the end, Bencic found a way to edge Lepchenko.

After around an hour and fifty minutes, Bencic overcame Lepchenko 3-6, 6-3, 6-2. The number one seed now progress into the quarterfinal where she will face fellow Swiss Viktorija Golubic.