While Hill wouldn’t reveal their entire gameplan, he did mention that Sakkari will target a specific side against Bencic. If you’ve ever seen Bencic play, you’ll know that targeting her backhand is a very bad idea.
Sakkari owns one of the best kick-serves in the game and will surely use it to stretch Bencic off the court. “If Maria serves well, she’ll make Bencic’s life very difficult,” Hill said.
She’ll then look to hit her heavy cross court forehand to keep Bencic on the run. The Swiss has a tendency to slap when she gets stretched out wide. Bencic is far more comfortable from the middle of the court, a place she is extremely dangerous.
According to Hill, the courts in St. Petersburg are very low bouncing. This certainly favors the much flatter, through the court hitting Bencic. It should also limit Sakkari’s ability to use her spin to hit the ball out of Bencic’s strike zone.
The UTR metrics give Sakkari a slight edge in this matchup. Bencic has endured some puzzling results in 2020, most notably a 6-3, 6-1 loss to Danielle Collins in Adelaide, as well as a 6-0, 6-1 loss to Anett Kontaveit at the Australian Open.
“Bencic has had some up and down results recently, but expect her to play well, because she’ll have to against Maria," Hill added.
This match is a toss up, but confidence goes a long way in tennis, so expect the Greek to advance in three tight sets.