2020 Australian Open: Clinical Kontaveit concedes just one game, stuns Bencic in 49 minutes
Anett Kontaveit celebrates her stunning 6-0, 6-1 win over Belinda Bencic | Photo: Hannah Peters

World number seven Belinda Bencic suffered her worst loss since 2014 as she was stunned in the third round of the 2020 Australian Open by the in-form Anett Kontaveit, who needed just 49 minutes to defeat the Swiss with a crushing scoreline of 6-0, 6-1. It was an absolute masterclass from the Estonian, who is still looking for a maiden Grand Slam quarterfinal appearance in her career.

Kontaveit and Bencic were playing each other for the first time, but they were supposed to meet in the third round of the US Open last year with the Estonian being forced to withdraw from the clash due to a bacterial infection which ultimately kept her out for the rest of the year. Hunting for more glory this year, Kontaveit blasted 21 winners to just a mere seven unforced errors throughout the match to claim the one-sided victory in front of a shocked Margaret Court Arena.

Kontaveit lost just six service points in 49 minutes of play, with three of them being double-faults. She was in command throughout the entire match and Bencic did not look like she had a chance, despite having a 55 per cent win probability given by Infosys before the match. Bencic committed 18 unforced errors and hit just 11 winners, which was not enough to go head-to-head with a big ball-striker like Kontaveit consistently.

It was a bad day at the office for Bencic, though she could not have done much either | Photo: Hannah Peters
It was a bad day at the office for Bencic, though she could not have done much either | Photo: Hannah Peters

Painting the lines with consistency and constantly overpowering Bencic at the baseline, Kontaveit surged out to a quick 5-0 lead after losing just six points in the process. Bencic attempted to put up some fight for pride, but could not convert a game point as she was handed her first bagel defeat since May 2019.

Nine consecutive games came and went for Bencic as Kontaveit was simply unstoppable, with every shot acting like a killer blow for the Swiss. The world number seven struggled to find her rhythm at the baseline and finally got onto the scoreboard only with the help of a mini letdown from Kontaveit, who sprayed consecutive unforced errors.

Apart from that, it was a perfect match played by the 28th seed as she stormed through the remainder of the match, with the sole game conceded being more of a consolation game for Bencic. Although the Swiss was still fighting hard in the latter stages of the match, it was not enough to withstand the Estonian power as Kontaveit sealed the surprisingly comfortable 6-0, 6-1 win after just 49 minutes of play.

Anett Kontaveit was simply firing on all cylinders in the match | Photo: Hannah Peters
Anett Kontaveit was simply firing on all cylinders in the match | Photo: Hannah Peters

Kontaveit will play rising star Iga Swiatek in the fourth round, with the winner set to earn her first-ever appearance in the quarterfinals of a Grand Slam. Holding a 1-0 win-loss record against her younger Polish opponent, Kontaveit will head into the match as the slight favourite as her form suggests, although it could still be a tough nut to crack.

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