Russia’s Liudmila Samsonova during their first round match at the Australian Open tennis championship in Melbourne, Australia, Tuesday, Feb. 9, 2021.(AP Photo/Andy Brownbill)
- Belinda Bencic is the -175 favorite to defeat Liudmila Samsonova in the WTA Bett1 Open final in Berlin on Sunday, June 20
- World #12 Bencic of Switzerland is looking for her first WTA title of the year and fifth of her career
- Russia’s Samsonova, ranked #126th, is playing in her first WTA final
Sunday’s Bett1 Open will be the second WTA final of 2021 for Swizerland’s Belinda Bencic. However, for Russia’s Liudmilla Samsonova, it will be a first-time experience.
Samsonova has achieved her first career WTA final appearance. Samsonova delivered a stunning 6-2, 6-4 straight-set verdict over seventh-seeded Victoria Azarenka in one semifinal match on Saturday.
Fifth-seeded Bencic continued her strong play in the other semi. She dispatched French veteran Alize Cornet 7-5, 6-4.
The oddsmakers are backing the veteran in the final of this tournament. Bencic, a winner of four titles in her WTA career, is listed as the -175 favorite.
Liudmilla Samsonova vs Belinda Bencic Odds
|Liudmila Samsonova||+138||+2.5 (-108)||O 19.5 (-195)|
|Belinda Bencic||-175||-2.5 (-117)||U 19.5 (+150)|
Odds as of June 19 at DraftKings
Sunday’s match will begin at 9:30 am ET at the Steffi Graf Stadion. The Tennis Channel is carrying the broadcast.
Bencic a Grass Master
Bencic is advancing to her fourth career grass-court final. She improved to 3-1 against world #63 Cornet. It took her one-hour and 47-minutes to fashion the victory.
The Swiss player smacked five aces and won all four of her break points during the match. Bencic hammered 29 winners, while committing just 19 unforced errors.
Second final of the year💪 #Pome https://t.co/XBo2vdRB3z
— Belinda Bencic Fan (@BencicFan) June 19, 2021
In the deciding game of the first, Bencic overcame four break points and persevered as Cornet fought off three set points before ultimately succumbing. The game ended up lasting 15 minutes.
Tied 4-4 in the second set, Cornet committed three double faults to drop her service game and fall behind 5-4. Bencic closed out the match on her service.
Samsonova Dominates Azarenka
Samsonova delivered a dominating performance in overcoming former world #1 Azarenka. She smashed 11 aces, winning 82-percent of her first-serve points and 77-percent of her second-serve points.
It took Samsonova just an hour and seven minutes to complete the dissection of two-time Australian Open champion Azarenka. She delivered 24 winners against a measly six unforced errors. As well, she saved all three of the break points she ended up facing.
Outstanding performance 🤩
Liudmila Samsonova knocks out the No.7 seed Azarenka to book a place in her first career final!#bett1open pic.twitter.com/pVeEY1Lsp9
— wta (@WTA) June 19, 2021
In beating the 16th-ranked Azarenka, Samsonov, 22, claimed her second top-20 victim of the season and of her WTA career. She held a 22-11 edge in receiving points won.
The Russian player is the fifth qualifier to reach a WTA singles final this season. However, she’s the first to do so at a WTA 500-level event.
UEFA Euro 2020 Odds Tracker
Experience Should Pay Dividends
Win or lose Sunday, Samsonova will crack the top 100 in the WTA rankings for the first time during her career. She’s dropped just one set all week in reaching the first final of her WTA career.
The breakthrough week by qualifier Liudmila Samsonova will extend all the way into the final of the inaugural @bett1open 😃
She defeated Azarenka to secure her place 👇
— wta (@WTA) June 19, 2021
Including her qualifiers, Samsonov has won six straight matches in Berlin. The Russian might be in line for a wildcard spot in the draw at Wimbledon.
Bencic offered Cornet ten break points in Saturday’s semifinal, but the French only capitalized twice. This could prove to be an avenue for Samsonova to exploit in Sunday’s match.
Belinda Bencic vs Liudmilla Samsonova Stats
|11||WTA Final Appearances||0|
|63.4||Service Games Won||63.7|
|28.0||Return Games Won||27.6|
|53.8||Break Points Saved||51.0|
However, in Bencic she is facing an experienced grass-court performer with a lengthy pedigree of success on this surface. She’s 14-4 in her last 18 grass-court matches and admits of all the surfaces, grass is her preferred choice.
In her three previous grass-court finals, Bencic has a win at Eastbourne in 2015. She lost to Iga Swiatek in the final at Adelaide on a hard-court surface in February. The former world #5 had two wins in 2019, at Dubai and Moscow.
Final tomorrow☺️ See you then, Berlin @bett1open pic.twitter.com/raHaW5LdoP
— Belinda Bencic (@BelindaBencic) June 19, 2021
This will be the the first career meeting between these two players. As impressive as Samsonova has looked during her unexpected run of success this week, the fact of the matter is that Bencic has played just as well.
Her experience will give the Swiss player just enough of an edge in a final that figures to go three sets.
Pick: Belinda Bencic -175; Bencic 2-1 (+320)
This article contains links to external sports betting services. SBD may receive advertising revenue from these links, however editorial has hand-picked each individual link based on relevance to the article, without influence on the coverage.
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.