Bencic sends Venus crashing out of Australian Open

Ruben Hill
January 15, 2018

Belinda Bencic has stunned the Australian Open and opened up the women's draw even more with a straight-sets victory over 2017 runner-up Venus Williams in the first round.

Watched by Federer's parents, the unseeded 20-year-old Bencic defeated No.5 seed Williams 6-3 7-5 in just under two hours.

But Swiss star Bencic, who teamed up with Roger Federer to win the Hopman Cup, was mesmerising on the forehand wing.

Twelve months on, Venus, now 37, will again step out onto the blue Plexicushion surface of Melbourne Park's showiest showcourt to begin her quest on the opening day of play to go one better.

Speaking after her win, the world No78 said: "It would be nice to play someone easier in the first round".

The injury saw Bencic tumble out of the top 300 but she has quietly marched back up to 78 since returning to action in September.

The second set opened to a string of breaks of serve but Bencic came through against the seven-time Grand Slam victor.

Williams will look to blow Bencic away quickly with her aggressive game, while her opponent will be keen to drag the veteran American into long rallies and find moments to unleash her fierce backhand down the line.

US Open champion Sloane Stephens had already crashed out to Zhang Shuai, while 24th seed Dominika Cibulkova was dumped out by Kaia Kanepi.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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