No 2. Seed Bencic Falls, Gauff Takes Second Chance In Linz

Belinda Bencic

LINZ, October 8, 2019 (by Alessandro Boroch)

World No. 57 Alizé Cornet opened Tuesday’s main draw action on Centre Court with a straight-set-victory (6-4, 6-4) over 2017 Upper Austria Ladies Linz champion Barbora Strycova. It was already their tenth career meeting and Cornet is leading the head-to-head with seven victories against the Czech.

Afterwards, the match between No. 6 seed Maria Sakkari and Stefanie Vögele should have taken place on Centre Court, but Maria Sakkari declared her withdrawal due to a right wrist injury. 15-year-old CoCo Gauff was announced as the lucky loser, and she only had forty minutes to prepare for her upcoming first-round match against Stefanie Vögele from Switzerland. Despite not having had much time for match preparation, CoCo Gauff went on winning the first-round match in straight sets 6-3, 7-6.

“I was being told that I’m in the main draw only forty minutes before the match started,” said Gauff. “Everything had to go pretty fast, I knew nothing about my opponent.”

The 15-year-old US-American from Atlanta will face Kateryna Kozlova, who beat Anna Blinkova on Monday, in the second round tomorrow.

Anna-Lena Friedsam from Germany probably scored the biggest upset of the day, beating No. 2 seed Belinda Bencic in three sets 6-4, 2-6, 6-2, after one hour and 54 minutes. It was her first ever victory against a TOP-10-player. In view of the WTA Finals, today’s loss has been destructive for Belinda Bencic, who now needs to accept a wildcard into the main draw of Moscow or Luxembourg next week, to remain in the race for a spot at the WTA Finals in Shenzhen.

“I think it was a really good match from both of us,” Bencic said after the match “I think she just played incredibly well to have such a run. If she could play every day like this, that’d be amazing. I think I played very good, so there wasn’t much I could do; maybe here or there, I could have done something different. Otherwise, I’m happy with the way I played.”

Apart from that, No. 5 seed Julia Görges beat World No. 78 Margarita Gasparyan in straight sets 6-4, 6-2, to set up a second-round battle against compatriot Andrea Petkovic. Laura Siegemund became the fourth German who advanced into the second round in Linz, after battling through a match, that lasted three hours, and in which she had to save two match points against 22-year-old Fiona Ferro from France (6-2, 5-7, 7-5).

Donna Vekic looked in impressive form as she eased past Polona Hercog from Slovenia 6-1, 6-1 in just 51 minutes. Elena Rybakina, Alison Van Uytvanck and Kiki Mladenovic also scored straight-set-victories over their opponents Nina Stojanovic, 7-6, 6-2, Ysaline Bonaventure 6-3, 6-2 and Katerina Siniakova 6-1, 7-5.

RESULTS – October 08, 2019 Women’s Main Draw Singles – First Round

E. Rybakina (KAZ) d N. Stojanovic (SRB) 76 62

A. Cornet (FRA) d B. Strycova (CZE) 64 64

L. Siegemund (GER) d. F. Ferro (FRA) 62 57 75

[LL] C. Gauff (USA) d. S. Vögele (SUI) 63 76

[5] J. Goerges (GER) d. M. Gasparyan (RUS) 64 62

A. Van Uytvanck (BEL) d. [LL] Y. Bonaventure (BEL) 63 62

K. Mladenovic (FRA) d. K. Siniakova (CZE) 61 75

A.-L. Friedsam (GER) d. [2] B. Bencic (SUI) 64 26 62

[4] D. Vekic (CRO) d. P. Hercog (SLO) 61 61