Fifth seed Belinda Bencic opened her campaign at the Bett1 Open in Berlin on a winning note on Monday. The Swiss, however, faced a stiff challenger from her opponent, 21-year-old Julie Niemeier. Finally, after two hours and 12 minutes of play, Bencic came from down a set to post a 4-6, 6-4, 7-5 win.
Speaking with the media after her win, Bencic said, “She’s a great opponent. I knew she was capable of great tennis, and she’s playing her best tennis right now, so I was expecting a tough match”. She also added, “I tried to fight, I tried to play with what I had, and I’m glad I won”.
Either Croatia’s Petra Martic or qualifier Asia Muhammad of the USA could be Bencic's next opponent, for a place in the quarter-finals.
Bett1 Open: Madison Keys sets Aryna Sabalenka meeting
Muhammad’s compatriot, Amanda Anisimova, meanwhile, crashed out in the opening round.
France’s Alize Cornet ousted Anisimova 6-3, 6-1 in an hour and 14 minutes. In the second round, Cornet will take on third seed Bianca Andreescu, who received a bye in the first round. Another player who’ll play a top-seed in the second round is Ekaterina Alexandrova.
Alexandrova came through her opener against fellow Russian, wildcard Anna Kalinskaya, 6-3, 6-2 in 63 minutes. In the second round, Alexandrova will play second seed Elina Svitolina. Madison Keys will play top-seed Aryna Sabalenka for a place in the last eight after getting through her round-of-32 match at the Bett1 Open.
Keys defeated Polish qualifier Magdalena Frech 6-3, 6-4. In her on-court interaction post-win, Keys credited her opponent for giving her a tough fight. “I think [Frech] played a couple of good points in my [second-to-last] service game, and she came out and had another good service game on her side. I was happy I made it a little less complicated in the last game,” Keys said.