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Belinda Bencic, of Switzerland, returns to Donna Vekic, of Croatia, during the quarterfinals of the U.S. Open tennis championships Wednesday, Sept. 4, 2019, in New York. (AP Photo/Frank Franklin II)
Belinda Bencic, of Switzerland, returns to Donna Vekic, of Croatia, during the quarterfinals of the U.S. Open tennis championships Wednesday, Sept. 4, 2019, in New York. (AP Photo/Frank Franklin II)|Associated Press
Tennis

U.S. Open women's semifinal No. 2: Abrams picks Belinda Bencic vs Bianca Andreescu

The 13th and 15th seeds are scheduled to start at 8:15 pm EDT, but will probably begin later.

Neal Abrams

Neal Abrams

2019 U.S. Open

Flushing Meadows, NY, USA

Thursday, September 5, 2019

Women’s Semis

Bianca Andreescu over Belinda Bencic

In a blockbuster of a semi between two players who most Americans are not terribly familiar with, 19-year-old Canadian rising star, Bianca Andreescu, will do battle with 13th ranked Swiss star Belinda Bencic. As these players are new to each other, this match should start with a little bit of a feeling-out process, but should blossom into a gigantic struggle to determine who will play for the $3.85 Million top prize here in New York.

Both of these ladies have been playing terrific tennis, with the possible exception of the other night when Andreescu beat American Taylor Townsend in a very choppy, error-filled encounter. Still, the Canadian is filled with confidence, and she brings a nice all-court game and a ferocious will to win into this match. The Canadian has beaten Elise Mertens, Townsend, Caroline Wozniacki, Kirsten Flipkens, and Katie Volynets to reach the semis. She has been challenged by both Townsend and Mertens (#25), but beat Wozniacki (#19), Flipkens and American teenager Volynets, braces and all, in straight sets.

Bencic, 24, is the new Swiss Miss, replacing the retired Martina Hingis, becomes the fortunate member of any co-ed team to join Roger Federer and Stan Wawrinka in representing Switzerland. That has helped her both in confidence and in play, and it shouldn’t be taken lightly. Bencic is the player who knocked off top-seeded, defending champion Naomi Osaka here, in straight sets, and also beat Donna Vekic, Anett Kontaveit, Alize Cornet, and Mandy Minella. Having come through the toughest part of the draw, Bencic brings a tough game along with a load of confidence into this match. Since Andreescu is so young and has played so little this year after an injury in March, these two have never played, but that should simply add another intangible into an intriguing matchup.

I like Andreescu simply because I think she’s a better athlete than Bencic. Bencic has more experience, but in this encounter I doubt that will matter. Andreescu also has an iron will, and ultimately, that should make the difference between two players who are very close in both skill and results. Whoever wins, though, this should be a wonderful women’s match, and should show the world how truly terrific women’s tennis has become.

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