Belinda Bencic at the 2021 US Open.
Date: 8 October 2021
Tournament: BNP Paribas Open
Round: Second round (Round of 64)
Venue: Indian Wells, USA
Category: WTA 1000
Prize money: $8,761,725
Live telecast: USA – Tennis Channel & ESPN | UK – Amazon Prime Video
Belinda Bencic vs Shelby Rogers preview
After a first-round bye, eighth seed Belinda Bencic will kick off her 2021 BNP Paribas Open campaign against Shelby Rogers in the second round. Rogers won her opening round match against Anhelina Kalinina 7-6(2), 6-2 on Wednesday.
Bencic has had a decent but rather up-and-down season overall, but has been remarkably consistent since her gold medal winning run at the Olympics. In the five tournaments she has played since Tokyo, the Swiss has reached the quarterfinals in all of them.
Bencic hasn’t progressed beyond that stage at any event though. Moreover, at last week’s Chicago Fall Tennis Classic, the 24-year-old sustained a knee injury in her quarterfinal clash with Elena Rybakina.
Needless to say, Bencic’s fitness is questionable at the moment.
Shelby Rogers reacts to beating Ashleigh Barty at the 2021 US Open.
Meanwhile, Shelby Rogers is having the best season of her career so far. The American made the fourth round of the Australian Open as well as the US Open, in the process reaching a career-high ranking of No. 40.
But the highlight of Rogers’ year was her win over World No. 1 Ashleigh Barty in their fifth match of the season, which took place at the US Open. The 28-year-old has also notched up wins over quality players like Maria Sakkari and Bianca Andreescu, distinguishing herself as a big-match player.
Belinda Bencic vs Shelby Rogers head-to-head
Belinda Bencic and Shelby Rogers have played five times so far, with the Swiss dominating their head-to-head 4-1. Bencic won their most recent encounter at the 2021 Cincinnati Open 7-6 (1) 6-1, the only time their match finished in straight sets.
Belinda Bencic vs Shelby Rogers prediction
Belinda Bencic at the 2021 French Open.
Belinda Bencic hasn’t lost to Shelby Rogers since their very first meeting in 2013. But if the Swiss still isn’t fully fit after last week’s injury, Rogers has a chance at an upset here.
Bencic will look to complement her aggressive playing style with her precise serve and flat groundstrokes. But Rogers is more than capable of hitting through her opponents, and thanks to her doubles proficiency she also tries to finish off points at the net.
That said, the American’s game plan hasn’t been successful against Bencic for a long time now. And if the latter is completely healthy, the odds of Rogers winning are slim.
Prediction: Belinda Bencic to win in three sets.