Steve’s WTA Tokyo Games Preview: Bencic vs Rybakina

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I said the other day that to be able to challenge Elena Rybakina in these conditions, you need to have the mix of movement and power to exploit Rybakina’s ability to change direction and cover the court well.

Enter Belinda Bencic.

I am going against the grain here a little bit in supporting Bencic, who has put together one of the more impressive weeks of her career between the singles and doubles, where she is a medal chance in both. Her consecutive wins over both Roland Garros finalists in Barbora Krejcikova and Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova for mine have been more impressive than any tennis displayed by Rybakina this week (I will get to that Muguruza match shortly). She is winning a high percentage of points behind her serve, pressuring on return fairly consistently, and has looked strong in the back end of both of her three set matches. For mine, she has that mix of movement and power to be able to cause Rybakina trouble, even if she has made it through to the semi finals without dropping a set.

Stosur, Peterson, Vekic and an unforced error-riddled Garbine Muguruza isn’t the hardest 2021 hardcourt run of the year. I commented in my preview on Rybakina vs Vekic that Donna wasn’t back to her best and her win over Sabalenka was more to do with Aryna’s poor first serve percentage more than anything. I got a little lucky on that 2-0 set play with Rybakina trailing 5-6* however she found her way out. I *think* the price on Rybakina here has too much consideration for the win over Vekic and then Muguruza, who had only 9 winners for the match to go with her 25 unforced errors. Rybakina is comfortable getting into power battles with bigger strikers of the ball. Players that can absorb and counterpunch with good court coverage are more of an issue, and I think this will be the case today.

Happy to make this a 3.5 unit selection at the current odds. 

Suggested Bet:

3.5 units Bencic to defeat Rybakina at $2.40 at Topsport