Sunday, August 16, 2015

2015 ROGERS CUP: Serena Suffers 2nd Loss of Year (to 18yo Belinda Bencic)

I'm in San Diego playing in a tennis tournament myself so I have limited access to my blog. However, I was able to catch most of Serena's match in the semifinals of the 2015 Rogers Cup in Toronto last night against 18 year-old Belinda Bencic of Switzerland.

Clearly Serena's elbow injury is real and it is impacting her serve. Serena lost to Bencic 3-6 7-5 6-4 in a taut, drama-filled encounter. Serena was on in the second set until the 8th game when she inexplicably got broken. Bencic had a set point serving at 5-3 and threw in a very nervous double fault. Serena pounced, broke back and then held serve for 5-all. But then, Serena had 0-40 on Bencic's serve and somehow failed to convert on any of those break points as well as a few others and the Swiss teenager held serve. Then Serena had to hold serve at 5-6 and started missing multiple serves (I think at one point she missed FIVE in a row) and got broken to lose the second set. She immediately demolished her racquet.

In the third set things went from bad to worse for Serena. She fell behind 1-5 when suddenly she calmed down and steadied her game. She brought it all the way back to 4-5 (breaking Bencic twice in succession) . In the final game Serena started with an ace but good returning by Bencic caused her to get behind in the points early and Serena eventually faced a break point which was also match point.
Bencic returned Serena's second serve well (first serve missed by a mile) and then was able to hit a winner to close out the match for an incredible win.

It was Serena's first 3-set loss of 2015 (now 15-1) and her first loss to a teenager since losing to Sloane Stephens in the 2013 Australian Open quarterfinals. It was also Serena's only second loss of the year (now 41-2). She had 59 unforced errors and 64 winners (+5) while Bencic had 5 more errors than winners.

Bencic will face Simona Halep in the 2015 Rogers Cup final.

MadProfessah's prediction: Halep.

1 comment:

carter said...

I too watched the match, yet did not know about the elbow issue until reading your commentary. But clearly, that was not the real Serena we all know and love.
However, at least she lost to someone whose name we will be hearing more from in the future. She can play tennis!
Watched Halep play also, and her first set seemed as flat as could be. However, she returned to form, and thus the final.
Bencic might be exhausted from exultation over her win over Serena, but I have a feeling her Dad might have something to say about it's not being over until it's over.
As to Andy Murray - if you saw anything of his match with Kei, there was clearly something wrong with Kei's leg(s). He could not move.
good luck in SD, one of my least favorite cities in America.


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