Belinda Bencic and Elena Rybakina will cross swords on Thursday, July 29, in the semifinals of the 2020 Tokyo Olympics tennis tournament. It will mark their first meeting in their careers in what promises to be an exciting affair between two serious candidates to claim gold in Japan.
Belinda Bencic vs Elena Rybakina
When: Thursday, July 29 – 13:00 JST
Where: Ariake Tennis Park in Tokyo, Japan
Weather: Cloudy, 31°C
Belinda Bencic (WTA #12) and Elena Rybakina (#20) will meet for the first time ever! The two will battle it out for a spot in the finals of the 2020 Olympics tournament, where one of them will be joined by the winner of the Elina Svitolina (#6) vs Marketa Vondrousova (#42) semifinal.
Belinda Bencic is (Once Again) the Underdog
The Swiss international enters yet another match priced as the underdog in the bookmakers’ eyes. The odds on Belinda Bencic beating Elena Rybakina are as high as 2.37 at some online sportsbooks at the time of writing.
The offered betting odds might suggest that Bencic will struggle to come out ahead in Thursday’s semifinals bout. However, we have heard the same story for both of her last two outings, yet the Swiss still came out ahead.
The first of those was the match against Barbora Krejcikova (#11). The 2021 French Cup champion was expected to beat Bencic, whose pre-match odds were somewhere in the ballpark of 3.00. However, we had faith in Bencic, who delivered and won the match with 2-1 (1-6, 6-2, 6-3).
Then, Bencic went on to face the runner-up of the 2020 French Open – Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova (#18). Once again, we were right to recommend backing Bencic, who produced a reverse-sweep and won with 2-1 (6-0, 3-6, 6-3).
Her next obstacle on the road to the Olympics final is Elena Rybakina, whom Bencic hasn’t played against before.
Still No Lost Sets for Rybakina at the 2020 Olympics
Elena Rybakina won each of the four matches she’s played in Tokyo in straight sets, which is obviously an impressive achievement on its own. What makes it even more impressive is that she beat one of the biggest favorites for the gold medal, Garbine Muguruza.
It happened in the quarterfinal, which Rybakina entered as a 3.00 underdog. However, a decent performance by Rybakina and a dreadful performance by Muguruza (especially in the second set) brought the 22-year-old Kazakhstani international a 2-0 win (7-5, 6-1).
So while Rybakina deserves some praise for her showings, we wouldn’t overreact to it, mainly because Muguruza was somewhat disappointing with her performance on the day.
Prior to the start of the tournament, Rybakina was one of the outsiders to win the gold medal. The reason wasn’t just that her ranking in the WTA List isn’t too great; it was also because she’s representing the country of Kazakhstan rather than her native Russia.
Still, those who doubted her motivation have been proven wrong. Rybakina has been fantastic, looking very determined to win her first Olympic medal. However, if she’s going to win a medal, we don’t think it’s going to be gold or silver. She might win a bronze in the match for third place.
Belinda Bencic vs Elena Rybakina Betting Picks
We can see Bencic winning the gold in Tokyo, and we’re giving her a solid chance to defeat Rybakina en route to it. It definitely won’t be an easy match for the Swiss; however, at the offered betting odds and with the form she has been showing, it’s tough to pass on Bencic at 2.37.
Prediction: Belinda Bencic – 2.47 Pinnacle
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