Elina Vesnina drove home a massive response at the Volvo Car Open Wednesday afternoon. The newly married Russian ran through the physically struggles of second seeded Belinda Bencic to win 6-1 6-1 at Volvo Car Stadium making it to the third round for a fifth time.
The two faced one another for the first time in what appeared to be an even strength competition. The skills of both players were at level between one another during the current season. In their last ten games. The Russian has earned more wins with her solid winning streak at Miami before bowing out in the third round. After qualifying for the tournament, she fought hard in the first set against Cindy Burger before locking it down for the straight set win.
The high ranked Swiss teen has shown signs of struggle since losing the finals of the St. Petersburg tournament to Roberta Vinci. She dropped out of the last four straight tournaments. With this being her fifth time earning a bye, the No. 10 ranked player in the world will hope that this can be her way to climb back while playing on the clay surface.
Vesnina served to open the match getting a fight on her hands from Bencic. The Russian dealt with the draw on deuce to win the game. She taught the teen a thing or two in the second winning the break outright with a show of control. She continued the early running going up 3-0 in the set as she raced away with the Swiss teen completely frustrated. The Russian executed her trick shots well until she saw answers from Bencic who climbed back to force deuce. In response, Vesnina fired an ace and sealed her fifth win in a row with a straight line winner.
It became time for Bencic to take a talk with coach and father Ivan Bencic to get his daughter back in with a mountain to climb. She had the ball on her hands trying to prevent the bagel and did it with much effort to save the set briefly. Vesnina got the ball back and completed the set with a strong service hold to win 6-1 in 31 minutes. Despite serving at 61 percent, Vesnina had her young opponent beat with 14 winners, two of five break points won and eight of nine near the net.
Hoping to have a more positive run in the second, Bencic delivered firing away at her Russian counterpart ending Game One with a love service. Things quickly went south as Vesnina went on a hold and broke Bencic to take a 2-1 lead. She dominated in the fourth before she pounded away on the return noticing that something was amiss about Bencic. A double break for Vesnina drove to her to a fourth straight win while the 19 year old was in her own nightmare.
She tried to battle it away in the sixth forcing a draw on deuce with Vesnina but the push for control was all in the hands of Vesnina who faced the opportunity to play for the match. Unforced errors were racking up in the seventh until a final shot into the net ended the very fast 56 minute match. “I’m happy that I won this match,” Vesnina said to Andrew Krasny during her on court interview. “I saw at the end of the second set that Belinda was moving slowly and she had problems with her back and I hope she’ll be ready for the next tournament.”
While she continues into the tournament, the 2011 finalist will take on WTA veteran Lourdes Dominguez-Lino Thursday.