Bencic proves too strong for Hives

9 January 2019, by Leigh Rogers

Belinda Bencic has powered into the Hobart International quarterfinals. The former world No.7 defeated Australian wildcard Zoe Hives 6-2 6-4 in a second-round showdown on Centre Court.

After struggling with the wind in her opening match, Bencic was pleased today’s performance was much more composed.

“I think my mentality was better today and I also played better,” she said.

Bencic served for the match at 5-2 in the second set, but was broken.

She admitted she was worried when Hives started swinging freely to win the next two games.

“I got a little bit nervous there,” she said.

Bencic, currently ranked No.55, praised her No.211-ranked opponent on her performance.

“She hits the ball really clean and her forehand and backhand are both good,” she said. “I think she has a very bright future. Today she showed she has a lot of talent.”

Bencic’s victory sets up an exciting quarterfinal meeting with Ukrainian Dayana Yastremska, a rising star of the game who she has beaten twice. Their most recent match, in October 2018, was decided in a third-set tiebreak.

“It will be a tough match, a really hard match,” Yastremska said after her second-round win over Vera Lapko.

“The matches we have had have always been a really good fight.”