Belinda Bencic Shocks Serena In Canadian Open Toronto, Faces Simona Halep In Final
by Sean Randall | August 16th, 2015, 12:51 am
  • 44 Comments

While a whole lot of nothing was happening in Montreal today, things got pretty good in women’s Canadian Open in Toronto.

After a mostly forgettable first semifinal battle between French Open finalists was won by Simona Halep over Sara Errani 6-4, 6-4. There didn’t seem to be hope of any drama in the night match either between Serena Williams and 18-year-old upstart Belinda Bencic.

I watched a little of Belinda play at the US Open last year when she made the quarters. Honestly, I wasn’t that impressed. There wasn’t much to her game, I guess like assistant coach Hingis.

So I thought Serena would cruise tonight taking advantage of Bencic lack of power or any real weaponry. And early on she did just that going up two breaks of serve in the first set 5-1.

But a funny thing happened, the young Bencic wouldn’t go away. She kept pecking and pawing recovering a break but eventually she lost the set 6-3.

OK, well that’s that, I thought.

But in the second it was more of the same, and then Serena’s serve really started breaking down (she finished with 12 double faults). Then as 20th-ranked Bencic took the second we saw racquet smashes, multiple screams, F-Bombs and all of that good stuff that makes watching Serena have to fight and come from the brink so much fun.

Entering the third, I thought for certain Serena would right she ship just as she’s done every other time this year in final sets. Bencic, to her credit, wouldn’t allow it.

The new Swiss Miss broke early for 3-0 lead and then again for 5-1! It was stunning, and stunning how bad Serena was serving. “I think I played really crappy today,” Serena would say.

Serving for the match Bencic understandably wobbled, losing three straight games before nervously closing it out 3-6, 7-5, 7-5.

“I can’t describe the feeling right now,” Bencic said. “I was very overwhelmed from the situation on the court, but I’m just so happy the forehand landed in and she couldn’t reach it anymore.

“It was an incredible feeling. I have no words.”

That’s just Serena’s second loss of the season after Petra Kvitova showed her the exits in this round in Madrid. Kvitova has two Wimbledon titles to go with a huge lefty serve and a big forehand. And while Serena was hindered her horrible serve and the fact she probably won’t lose much sleep over this loss – her real goal is next month in New York – I have to give Bencic credit.

Again, I’m not quite sure what she did, but it worked.

There’s no big weapon per se, but she seems to have a knack for hitting in the right spots, just well enough to get her opponent off balance or out of position. A few times I noticed Bencic not even moving from the corner because she knew – and she was right – that the ball would be coming right back to her. That’s pretty heady stuff for just 18.

“I thought she did really well at everything tonight,” Serena said. “She really reads the ball well, and she really fought well. I knew that about her already, that she never gives up and she fights hard.

“I felt pretty much in control until I lost the match. I always felt I still had an opportunity to stay in there. And obviously I was down and stuff. But I just wasn’t playing well today. It wasn’t my day. Hopefully I can rectify that going into Cincinnati next week and then going into the US Open.

“Hopefully I can have a few more better days.”

While I’m still not that high on her as say a Madison Keys, for her to do what she’s done this week at just the age of 18 – beating Caroline Wozniacki, Ana Ivanovic, Sabine Lisicki and even Eugenie Bouchard – is awfully impressive.

Now she has one more to go.

“Obviously Halep is No.3 in the world and she’s an amazing player,” Bencic said. “But I’m in the final and everything that comes is going to be a bonus.”

ESPN2 has the women’s final from Toronto live at 1pm ET.


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44 Comments for Belinda Bencic Shocks Serena In Canadian Open Toronto, Faces Simona Halep In Final

Margot Says:

Fantastic win for Bencic and quite a roll at Toronto!
Glad Halep is finding some form too.


jane Says:

bencic’s draw has been killer. i was pulling for halep but considering what bencic has done to get to the final, now i don’t care. may the best woman win!


Wog Boy Says:

I am pulling for Halep, as always, loved her fightback against Radwanska, just love that girl..in appropriate way, just to make sure those puritans don’t get me wrong.


Gypsy Gal Says:

I doubt Serena will be worrying too much about this loss,she has her sights on the bigger prize of winning the USO,that said its great that her loss has opened the door for someone else,and a great win for Bencic,but agree with Wogboy love Halep and her fighting spirit….


Martin Says:

Obviously was not the best day of Serena, but 95% of her opponents would not take advantage of that. The strenght of Belinda is the whole package (no real weakness beside 2nd serve) and the game reading. In my opinion she will improve in power, which will give her real weapons. In my opinion she will be the future number 1. Already at 18 she is mentally very strong. Especially with the match against Lisicki I was impressed. She didn’t play well after the first set, but somehow she could win the match despite very bad emotions.

Halep plays totally different than Serena. So it will be another match, but I think is 50/50. Belinda has the self confidence to believe. Beside the pressure is on Halep’s side. Perhaps the crowd can be a factor. It will be tough for a 18 year old play against the opponent and the people inside the stadium. If she can manage this, she has a big chance to win this tournament.


Jack Lewis Says:

“There wasn’t much to her game, I guess like assistant coach Hingis.”
Ouch the burn!
ROFLMAO


jane Says:

with the ladies, today it seems to be all about the return and holding! or not…

bencic has the break right now.


jane Says:

and another break with halep holding this time. bencic is serving second. she could feel the pressure at the end of the set.


FedExpress Says:

disgusting tactic from the “gnom”. bencic was to serve to stay in the set. halep takes MTo. just liek nole


jane Says:

tiebreak! here and with men’s doubles too.


FedExpress Says:

halep is errani 3.0


FedExpress Says:

wtf is the crown on about. so many for halep.


jane Says:

oh wow, bencic got both halep’s serve points. she leads 5-4.


jane Says:

6-5 now. gave one back. halep serving .


FedExpress Says:

oh yes. first set bencic


jane Says:

ah, and the 18 yr old takes set 1. what a fighter she is too!


jane Says:

“we saw racquet smashes, multiple screams, F-Bombs and all of that good stuff that makes watching Serena have to fight and come from the brink so much fun”

well we know where sean stands on on-court antics like swearing and so forth. ;)


FedExpress Says:

halep is just a pusher. hardly goes for winners. but brought it very far with her limitations


jane Says:

w/ue
12/24 halep
12/26 bencic

pretty equal stats set one, winners/errors

but bencic up with a break in set 2 now!


FedExpress Says:

antoher MTO taken by halep. good sportmanship shown by belinda.

retire halep ffs


jane Says:

something is stuck in halep’s ear. huh?


FedExpress Says:

have these girls thaz something like serve was invented to hold to make the life easier

so many breaks


FedExpress Says:

wtf bencic broken back


FedExpress Says:

halep cant move and bencic still can win it


FedExpress Says:

make it fast so that i can watch the mens final


FedExpress Says:

wtf is going on


FedExpress Says:

is halep acting for real?


Markus Says:

WTA is a joke.


FedExpress Says:

equal prize money my foot


Markus Says:

It’s acting.


FedExpress Says:

tie break it is


Markus Says:

Equal prize money, my somewhere above my foot.


FedExpress Says:

bencic, play a drop shot. ever heard of that


FedExpress Says:

reminds me a tiny bit of wawa against nadal last year


Markus Says:

If women played 5 sets, would anybody watch something like this? And this is more the norm than an exemption in women’s tennis.


FedExpress Says:

this IW all over again. halep is an actor


Okiegal Says:

Bencic is not feeling her best either……I think they’re both pretty well spent. The little Swiss Miss hasn’t been all smiles through this match like she was during the Serena match. They’re both feeling it….imo. I don’t think there is any faking going on…..just saying.


Markus Says:

Please, ESPN, move to the men’s match!


Markus Says:

They’re faking being real tennis players. Horrible!


Okiegal Says:

Haley hanging in for her Romanian fans, maybe?? I don’t how she is still out going the distance. We will see. Bencic is madder than a hatter because Halep left the court and fussing about MTOs. Oh, my!!


Okiegal Says:

Halep….not Haley….


Okiegal Says:

C’mon Andy!!!!!!!


Okiegal Says:

Great point, Andy!!!


jalep Says:

Congrats to Bencic! she took out the two top seeds and is looking like the real deal.

Simona, well played tournament.

(didn’t see the match… yet)

Top story: Halep, Wozniacki Lead Loaded Wuhan Field; Kerber v Keys, Svitolina v Sabalenka Tues.