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Bencic vs Lottner WTA Lugano Preview, Predictions and Live Streaming: Home favourite, Bencic opens Lugano bid against qualifier, Lottner

Leye Aduloju in WTA Tour 9 Apr 2019
  • Belinda Bencic vs Antonia Lottner is live from Lugano on Tuesday, 9 April from 6:00pm local time/ 5:00pm BST
  • Bencic and Lottner meet for the first time at tour level
Belinda Bencic

Belinda Bencic will attempt to win her first tour-level match on Swiss soil when she takes on German, Antonia Lottner in the first round of the Samsung Open in Lugano on Tuesday.

Back into the top-20 after a fantastic start to the season, Bencic is looking to build on the gains from the first quarter of the year, as she continues her charge up the rankings after being held back by injuries in the last few seasons.

Bencic, who reached a career-high world No. 7 in February 2016, dipped below the top 300 in September 2017 during her injury crisis, but she has painstakingly fought her way back up the WTA ladder, and is once again right up there in the mix amongst the best players in the world.

The Lugano top seed began the season outside the top 50, but she laid the foundations for the ascent with a semi-final in Hobart and a third-round run at the Australian Open. Then came the charge in Dubai, where she took out consecutive top-ten players, Aryna Sabalenka, Simona Halep, Elina Svitolina and Petra Kvitova in an absolutely sensational week. She continued the surge at Indian Wells, accounting for more top-ten opposition in Naomi Osaka and Karolina Pliskova, before being stopped by Angelique Kerber in the semi-finals. 

There was a bit of a letdown in Miami, where she was beaten by Yulia Putintseva in the opening round, but she returned to winning ways on the green clay of Charleston, where she made the quarter finals before falling to Petra Martic.

Bencic isn't renowned for her work on clay, but she has been restricted to very limited opportunities in the last few seasons due to injuries. Can the fit-again Swiss make a telling impact on the surface this season? She got off to a decent start on the green clay in Charleston- how will she fare on the red stuff in Lugano?

She meets Antonia Lottner in a repeat of the 2013 French Open Girls' Final, which was won by Bencic in straight sets.


While Bencic has gone on to make the top-ten, Lottner has never broken into the top-100, with her highest ranking being 128th in the world.

The German is seeking her first WTA win since June last year, when she defeated Aliaksandra Sasnovich in the first round of the grass court tournament in Mallorca. She has generally struggled for match wins at WTA level; and has totaled just seven victories in her career, three in 2017, and four in 2018.

Apart from Mallorca, her other victories in 2018 were in s-Hertogenbosch, where she beat Anna Blinkova and Elise Mertens to reach the quarter finals, and in Prague, where she took out Mona Barthel before losing to Mihaela Buzarnescu. 

After falling in the final qualifying rounds of the Australian Open, Lottner played exclusively on the ITF World Tour, as she sought to get her rankings up, but she didn't get much joy at that level either, winning just three matches in the five tournaments she played. She has stayed fairly stagnant all year, with her ranking hovering between 178th and 195th.

The world No. 182 should gain some more ranking spots after getting through the Lugano qualifiers, regardless of what happens in her main draw opener against Bencic on Tuesday.

Bencic defeated Lottner in two of their three matches during their junior days, while she also won an ITF meeting in 2017, but this will be their first tour-level meetings. For all her struggles at WTA level, Lottner has two top-20 wins to her name- against Dominika Cibulkova in s-Hertogenbosch in 2017, and Elise Mertens at the same venue last year. Lottner will also have fond memories of her reaching maiden WTA quarter final in Switzerland, specifically, Gstaad in 2017, when she took out home players, Viktorija Golubic and Patty Schnyder before falling to Tereza Martincova in the last eight. Can she do a repeat against Switzerland’s current No. 1, Bencic on Swiss soil on Tuesday?

That is very unlikely. Bencic has not only managed the transition into professional tennis much better than her good friend and former junior rival, she is also in terrific form and shouldn't encounter much problems in securing a second-round spot in Lugano on Tuesday. 

Belinda Bencic vs Antonia Lottner is live from Lugano on Tuesday, 9 April from 6:00pm local time/ 5:00pm BST

*Geo-restrictions apply. Streams available to customers with an active balance


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Bencic vs Lottner WTA Lugano Preview, Predictions and Live Streaming: Home favourite, Bencic opens Lugano bid against qualifier, Lottner

Belinda Bencic takes on Germany's Antonia Lottner in the first round of the Samsung Open in Lugano on Tuesday. Read our preview, predictions and stream the match live online.

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