Wimbledon: Belinda Bencic sends Caroline Garcia packing in straight sets

Belinda Bencic put together an outstanding performance to earn her first top-10 win since January, defeating world number six Caroline Garcia in the opening round of Wimbledon.

Belinda Bencic
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Caroline Garcia

When the Wimbledon draw came out, this was one of the few blockbuster first-round matches to keep a lookout for. It lived up to the hype it received as Belinda Bencic and Caroline Garcia brought together a high-quality encounter which went the way of the Swiss underdog, who triumphed with an excellent 7-6, 6-2 scoreline after 93 minutes of play. This is Bencic’s second top-10 win of the year, and coincidentally both came in the first round of Grand Slams.

Both Bencic and Garcia ended the match with positive numbers on the statistical board, though Garcia’s huge bulk of 24 unforced errors proved costly especially during the crucial moments as just one service break proved the difference between both players overall. Bencic, looking in great form, will now face Alison Riske in a tricky second-round match with a decent chance to make the second week.

Belinda Bencic will definitely be pleased with her performance today | Photo: Clive Mason/Getty Images Europe
Belinda Bencic will definitely be pleased with her performance today | Photo: Clive Mason/Getty Images Europe

The high-quality set goes the way of Bencic

Garcia looked well on course to claim the confidence-boosting service hold in the opening game of the match but everything went wrong on her backhand wing as that shot, which used to be a lethal weapon, completely broke down and Bencic capitalized on her chances to earn the first break of serve in the evening.

Both players were displaying some high-quality tennis and they were putting up a good show for the crowd out on Court 3, and Bencic dutifully held onto her lead as Garcia failed to find the rhythm on the return. The Frenchwoman was often standing inside the baseline for her returns, which was a risky move and ultimately backfired.

Caroline Garcia's errors proved costly today | Photo: Clive Mason/Getty Images Europe
Caroline Garcia's errors proved costly today | Photo: Clive Mason/Getty Images Europe

Nonetheless, Garcia’s forehands were just too good and she came from out of nowhere to claim the break back, though she put herself in a dangerous position yet again in the following game. A powerful serve helped the world number six to fend off another break point — but Bencic proved that she could do better by recovering from a 0-40 deficit to hold serve and level the scores at 4-4.

A quick exchange of service holds soon brought the set into a tiebreak to decide the winner, but surprisingly it ended up relatively one-sided. Bencic jumped out to a commanding 4-0 lead within a blink of an eye with the help of several unforced errors by Garcia and ultimately took it 7-2 after 58 minutes of play.

Belinda Bencic was ultimately too solid for her top-10 opponent | Photo: Clive Mason/Getty Images Europe
Belinda Bencic was ultimately too solid for her top-10 opponent | Photo: Clive Mason/Getty Images Europe

Bencic grabs the huge win

Garcia was determined to get back level but Bencic was putting up an extremely solid performance and never seemed to let loose on her serves even though how hard the Frenchwoman was trying to find a breakthrough. Nonetheless, the Swiss had to recover from 0-30 down twice but remained in contention as Garcia failed to find a break point opportunity.

Serving at 2-3 down, Garcia committed a string of unforced errors which gifted Bencic with the free break, allowing her to open a commanding 5-2 lead with ease having claimed eight consecutive points. The sixth seed put in some tough fight after fending off a match point on her serve with a stunning forehand winner, though it was not enough to stop Bencic from claiming the win as the world number 56 claimed the terrific 7-6, 6-3 win after an hour and 33-minutes of play.