No. 22 seed Belinda Bencic dropped a total of five games against Heather Watson but afterwards insisted the Briton is always a tricky opponent to play against. Bencic, ranked at No. 28 in the world, handed Watson a 6-4 6-1 loss in the Miami Masters third round.
It was the third meeting between the two and Bencic's second win over Watson. The two met for the first time at the Indian Wells in 2014 and back then Watson claimed a straight-set win. Bencic got her revenge three years later when she defeated Watson at the Hopman Cup.
Five years later, the two met again and Bencic claimed a second consecutive win over Watson. "She's a very tricky player," Bencic said on-court afterwards, per Eurosport. "I haven't played her in a long time.
It's always very difficult because you don't know how it feels [to play her]. "She played with a lot of control and she tries to take you out of position. It was very tricky at the start but I'm happy I found my flow and happy to be through."
Bencic got the job done in straight sets
Watson was putting a lot of pressure on Bencic right from the start but the Swiss saved three break points in the second game and three more break points in the fourth game. However, Watson kept pressuring Bencic and finally got the first break of the match in the sixth game to take a 4-2 lead.
After falling down by a break, Bencic suddenly started playing much better as she responded with back-to-back breaks to overturn the deficit and win the first set. Watson never recovered from losing the first set as Bencic earned three breaks in the second set to claim a straight-set win.
Bencic has been through to the Miami round-of-16 for the first time since 2015. Bencic hasn't had much success in Miami in recent years but now she is putting up a good run. It remains to be seen if Bencic can reach her first Miami quarterfinal this year.