TennisSection previews the 2023 Qatar Open as Iga Swiatek takes on Belinda Bencic in the quarterfinal on Thursday, February 16, 2023.
Iga Swiatek made an emphatic start to her title defense at the Qatar Open in Doha. But the Polish World No. 1 faces one of the most in-form players on the WTA Tour in 2023 in Belinda Bencic. Will the Swiss maintain her winning streak on Thursday?
Iga Swiatek quelled fears that her dominance might be over and instead delivered a total shellacking to Danielle Collins, dropping a mere one game in 53 minutes of brutal tennis. The Polish World No. 1, playing for the first time since her fourth-round exit at the Aussie Open, lost just four points in the first set, as Collins failed to muster a single winner from her racket. The second set was slightly competitive at the start, but once Swiatek got into another gear, she romped to victory under the lights.
Belinda Bencic, meanwhile, plotted a remarkable fightback to remain alive and kicking at the Qatar Open. She trailed Victoria Azarenka 1-6 1-4 (double break down in the second set), but rallied to win 1-6 7-6 6-4 in two hours and 42 minutes. She is now 14-2 since the start of the season and has now collected six wins on the trot following her success at the Abu Dhabi Open last week. Can she conquer Iga Swiatek?
Iga Swiatek leads Belinda Bencic 2-1 in their head-to-head. All their previous three matches were contested on hard courts including their entertaining United Cup encounter last month which Swiatek won 6-3 7-6. The Pole opened her 2023 Qatar Oepn account with an emphatic demolition job of World No. 42 Collins who barely laid a finger. However, she comes up against an in-form Bencic whose pinpoint serving has bailed her out of trouble on a couple of occasions, first against Liudmila Samsonova in Abu Dhabi, and then Azarenka in Doha. Bencic’s winning streak has been brilliant. Nevertheless, we expect the unbreakable Iga Swiatek to terminate that run.
Free Tennis Prediction and Pick: Iga Swiatek in 2 sets
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