Belinda Bencic of Switzerland returns the ball to Ons Jabeur of Tunisia during their match at the Madrid Open tennis tournament in Madrid, Spain, Monday, May 3, 2021. (AP Photo/Paul White)
- Eighth-seeded Belinda Bencic is the +114 underdog against unseeded Spaniard Paula Badosa in their WTA Madrid Open quarterfinal match on Wednesday, May 5th
- Bencic is through to the quarterfinals for the first time in six tournaments
- Badosa recently downed Bencic at the Volvo Car Open
Is Belinda Bencic rediscovering her mojo, or is she the benefactor of good fortune? There should be a better handle on where the Swiss player is heading following her WTA Madrid Open quarterfinal match against Spain’s Paula Badosa on Wednesday, May 5th. Paula Badosa vs Belinda Bencic will be broadcast by the Tennis Channel in the morning.
For the first time since February, world #11 Bencic is through to the quarterfinals of a WTA event. She advanced when a leg injury forced world #25 Ons Jabeur to retire from their round of 16 match on Monday.
Badosa took control of her round of 16 match against Latvia’s Anastasija Sevastova in the third set, winning 6-7(0), 7-6(3), 6-0.
Oddsmakers aren’t buying that Bencic is back. World #62 Badosa, born in New York, but raised in Spain, is the -141 favorite in this match.
Paula Badosa vs Belinda Bencic Odds
|Player||Moneyline||Spread||Total at DraftKings|
|Belinda Bencic||+114||+1.5 (-1090||O 21.5 (-104)|
|Paula Badosa||-141||-1.5 (-117)||U 21.5 (-122)|
Odds as of May 3rd
Bencic Advances Via Jabeur Retirement
Eighth-seeded Bencic was ahead 7-6(2), 4-3 when Jabeur determined that she would be unable to continue. She pulled up while chasing a forehand at 3-3 in the second set. Following a medical timeout, the Tunisian player took part in two more points before determining that she wouldn’t be able to go any further.
The match was every bit as close as the score would indicate. Bencic fought off double set point down 5-4 to Jabeur in the first set. Jabeur held the edge in first-serve points (80.0%-78.7%), while Bencic got the better of play on second serve points (55.6%-50.0%). Neither player was able to break the other’s service.
The No.8 seed @BelindaBencic moves on to the quarterfinals after Jabeur retires due to injury.
Final score: 7-6(2), 4-3.#MMOPEN pic.twitter.com/Hp4B9GcHFO
— wta (@WTA) May 3, 2021
Bencic hasn’t gone this far in a tournament since losing to Iga Swiatek in the final at Adelaide in February. In fact, since that event, this tourney marks the first time that the Swiss player has won consecutive matches. Bencic barely battled past world #70 Bernarda Pera 3-6, 6-1, 7-6(5) in the round of 32.
Very much in form coming into the match, Jabeur was seeking to reach the semifinals of her third straight tournament. She’d beaten 2017 US Open champion Sloane Stephens to reach the round of 16.
Badosa Bounces Sevastova In Rubber Match
It was neck and neck for two sets between Badosa and Sevastova, with each player taking a 7-6 verdict. Then it was all Badosa in the third set, as she swept to a 6-0 verdict to take the match.
The Spaniard dominated in break points converted (57.1%-44.5%). Badosa also maintained an edge in service points won (55.4%-50.4%) and return points won (49.5%-44.6%).
Paula Badosa’s breakout 2021 continues.
SF Lyon (WTA 250)
SF Charleston (WTA 500)
QF Madrid (WTA 1000)
1st WC to reach QF in Madrid since 2017.
Will face No.11 Belinda Bencic for the second time in two tournaments. Beat the Swiss 62 67 61 in Charleston. #MMOPEN pic.twitter.com/8vvA5xCGnc
— WTA Insider (@WTA_insider) May 3, 2021
A wildcard entry into the Madrid Open, Badosa is the lowest-ranked player remaining in the draw. It the furthest that she’s ever advanced in a WTA 1000 tournament.
A fan favorite in Madrid, Badosa has enjoyed clay court success in the past. She was the 2015 French Open junior champion.
Badosa will be looking to advance to a semifinal for the third time in 2021 and second time in as many tournaments. She’d reached the final four of one WTA event prior to this year.
2021 French Open Odds Tracker
Clay Not Often Kind to Bencic
Clay hasn’t proven to be the surface where Bencic has excelled during her career. She was just 1-5 playing on clay in her last six matches prior to the Madrid Open.
Bencic: “I felt terrible for her. She’s such a nice person. We are good friends. You never want this to happen to anyone.
“I thought we played a great match. There were no breaks at all in the whole match. I think our serving was great. I think it was a good level.” #MMOPEN pic.twitter.com/ap0QmdLH0w
— WTA Insider (@WTA_insider) May 3, 2021
This is just her fourth quarterfinal final appearance in a tournament played on a clay court surface, but her second at Madrid. She reached the semifinals here in 2019 and in Charleston in 2014.
Belinda Bencic vs Paula Badosa Stats
|11||WTA Final Appearances||0|
|58.8||Service Games Won||55.0|
|29.3||Return Games Won||35.6|
|48.2||Break Points Saved||48.5|
Badosa and Bencic met for the first time during their careers earlier this year in the round of 32 at the Volvo Car Open in Charleston, also a clay court event. Badosa won 6-2, 6-7(2), 6-1.
Such a tough match…. such an emotional win!
Next for Badosa: Bencic pic.twitter.com/l4rhA5FbG9
— Genny SS (@genny_ss) May 3, 2021
That was a breakthrough event for the 23-year-old Spaniard. She also beat world #1, Ashleigh Barty, in the quarterfinals before falling to Russia’s Veronika Kudermetova in the semifinals. Badosa is 10-3 in her last 13 matches on clay.
Pick: Paula Badosa (-141), Badosa 2-1 (+340)
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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.