Switzerland’s Belinda Bencic hits a forehand return to Belgium’s Elise Mertens during their third round match at the Australian Open tennis championship in Melbourne, Australia, Saturday, Feb. 13, 2021.(AP Photo/Andy Brownbill)
- Belinda Bencic is the -188 favorite over Alize Cornet in their WTA Bett1 semfinal on Saturday, June 18
- The fifth seed, Bencic is the only player among the top five seeds to survive through to the semifinals
- Cornet is in the semfinals of a WTA tournament for the first time since 2019
Belinda Bencic is proving to be the Gloria Gaynor of the WTA Bett1 Open in Berlin. While the other top seeds have all fallen by the wayside, Bencic is showing everyone that she will survive. In a tournament where seeds are falling like leaves in autumn, Bencic will be dealing with yet another giant killer.
The Swiss player, the #5 seed in the Berlin tournament, is facing France’s Alize Cornet in Saturday’s semifinals. Bencic outlasted Russia’s Ekaterina Alexandrova 6-4, 4-6, 7-6(7-4) in quarterfinal action on Friday.
Meanwhile, Cornet toppled #6 seed Garbine Muguruza of Spain 4-6, 6-3, 7-5(7-5) in quarterfinal action.
Oddsmakers aren’t anticipating another upset. Bencic is established as the -188 favorite to win the match.
Alize Cornet vs Belinda Bencic Odds
|Alize Cornet||+145||-2.5 (-110)||O 21.5 (-120)|
|Belinda Bencic||-227||+2.5 (-125)||U 21.5 (-120)|
Odds as of June 18 at BetMGM
Saturday’s match is slated for 7:00 am ET in the Steffi Graf Stadion. The Tennis Channel is carrying the broadcast.
Bencic Outlasts Alexandrova
The quarterfinal match between #5 seed Bencic and world #34 Alexandrova was figuring to be a barn burner and it lived up to that billing.
Both players are outstanding grass performers and the numbers bore out that fact. Bencic held slight edges in first service percentage (56-54) and first serves won (75-73).
Belinda Bencic finding her form on grass, gets a very good win over Ekaterina Alexandrova 6-4, 4-6, 7-6(4) to reach the semifinals of the Berlin WTA 500.
— José Morgado (@josemorgado) June 18, 2021
Where she was able to scratch out a more significant advantage was on second serve winning percentage (54-48). As well, Bencic won four of five break points. Alexandrova was 4-of-9 when she was afforded the opportunity to break Bencic.
The result brought the two even in four on-court meetings at 2-2. Alexandrova had won their previous clash on a grass surface. It was also the second time though three matches that Bencic ended up working three sets for the victory. The Swiss player endured past German qualifier Julie Niemeier 4-6, 6-4, 7-5 in the round of 32.
UEFA Euro 2020 Odds Tracker
Cornet Does It Again
World #63 Cornet overcame six double faults to also overcome 2017 Wimbledon champion Muguruza. The French player compiled a 70-65 first service winning percentage and claimed both of her break points from Muguruza.
It’s the first time in three matches in Berlin that Cornet has dropped a set. It’s also the second seeded player she’s ousted.
Well I was rooting just a bit more for Muguruza but I’m so so happy for Cornet 😍
And they just put on a fantastic show and never gave up, both of them !
That reminded me why they’re my 2 favorite players 😌
Congrats @GarbiMuguruza & @alizecornet #bett1open #WTA pic.twitter.com/7AGXhZFuLw
— Tie Breaking News (@TennisAddict5) June 18, 2021
In second-round play, the 31-year-old French player sent #3 seed Bianca Andreescu packing. Cornet downed the Canadian 7-6(7-2), 7-5. It was just the second WTA main draw match on grass for Andreescu, 21.
In Muguruza, Cornet beat the the #13 player in the world. Facing Bencic, she will take on the world’s 12th-ranked performer.
Bencic Slays Giant Killers
This is Bencic’s best peformance of the season since she lost the Adelaide final to Iga Swiatek in February. She’s always been a solid performer on grass. Bencic is 13-4 in her last 17 matches playing on that type of surface.
When you feel like wanting to sit down for a picnic during the match🎾🌱🪑 https://t.co/tkTkY4DkNQ
— Belinda Bencic (@BelindaBencic) June 16, 2021
This is the first time in 23 tournaments that Cornet has advanced beyond the round of 16. The previous occasion upon which she’s gone this far in an event was when she lost to Fiona Ferro in the final at Lausanne on July 21, 2019.
Alize Cornet vs Belinda Bencic Stats
|13||WTA Final Appearances||11|
|51.6||Service Games Won||63.4|
|41.8||Return Games Won||28.0|
|46.5||Break Points Saved||53.8|
Traditionally, grass-court play isn’t Cornet’s strong suit. She’s 22-30 on the surface during her WTA career. This is her best-ever showing in a grass-court event. Her prior top performance was a quarterfinal appearance at Eastbourne in 2019. Cornet lost to Ons Jabeur.
First-ever WTA semifinal on grass 🌱@alizecornet outlasts the No.6 seed Muguruza to secure her spot in the @bett1open semifinals! pic.twitter.com/thYqnl4dFn
— wta (@WTA) June 18, 2021
Bencic has won two of three previous meetings from Cornet. However, they’ve only faced each other once since 2015, when Bencic downed Cornet in the round of 64 at the 2019 US Open. Two of their three matches have gone the full three sets. This will be their first clash on a grass court.
While it will be appealing to wager on the underdog in this match, Bencic is proving to be the one top seed in this tournament who is displaying immunity to being toppled by longshots. Write down the chalk to take this one.
Pick: Belinda Bencic -227; Bencic 2-1 (+320)
An industry veteran, Bob literally taught the course on the history of sports at Elder College. He has worked as a Sports Columnist for Postmedia, appeared as a guest on several radio stations, was the Vice President of the Society For International Hockey Research in Ontario, and written 25 books.