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Australian Open 2018: Belinda Bencic stuns Venus Williams in first round

Switzerland’s Belinda Bencic beat last year’s runner-up Venus Williams in the first round of the Australian Open that got underway on Monday, January 15. The World No 78 Bencic sent shockwaves down the tournament and the draw with her win which saw her play with sheer confidence and outhit seven-time Grand Slam winner Venus. The Swiss won 6-3, 7-5 in a show where she displayed plenty of confidence to pick her first win over the American in four attempts. The win also makes her one of the few players to have beaten both Serena and Venus Williams.
Bencic soaked up Venus’ firepower and attacked her serve with plenty of intent with the roof closed above them on Rod Laver Arena. Rain had interrupted play in the middle of the first set before the roof was closed completely. However, the time lost did not hurt Bencic’s confidence who hit the ball early, hit incredible angles from her forehand and most importantly, didn’t allow Venus to get into the contest with her big serve. It reflected in the numbers too as she collected 32 winners and 12 unforced errors.
“I think (before) I had a little bit too much respect, played a little bit careful and safe,” Bencic, who was a toddler when Venus won her first grand slam at Wimbledon in 2000, told reporters. “This time, I really tried to come out and, you know, hit it big. Also tactically be smart on the court.”
Venus battled to keep touch in an enthralling second set but Bencic unleashed two blazing forehand winners to close out the match in the 12th game.
The resurgent Bencic will meet the winner of Johanna Larsson and Luksika Kumkhum in the next round.
Crestfallen, Williams’s post-match news conference wrapped up quickly, with short responses and a sombre monotone. “I don’t think I played a bad match,” she said. “She just played above and beyond. I just have to give her credit for that.”Venus battled to keep touch in an enthralling second set but Bencic unleashed two blazing forehand winners to close out the match in the 12th game.
The resurgent Bencic will meet the winner of Johanna Larsson and Luksika Kumkhum in the next round.
Crestfallen, Williams’s post-match news conference wrapped up quickly, with short responses and a sombre monotone. “I don’t think I played a bad match,” she said. “She just played above and beyond. I just have to give her credit for that.”

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