SHENZHEN, China – No.1 seed Ashleigh Barty recovered from a set down to overcome No.7 seed Belinda Bencic 5-7, 6-1, 6-2 in one hour and 57 minutes in the second Red Group match of the 2019 Shiseido WTA Finals Shenzhen – wrapping up the year-end world No.1 Singles Ranking presented by Dubai Duty Free in the process, provided she steps on court for one further round-robin match this week.
One of the most intriguing matchups of the week between two WTA Finals debutantes was, before today, one of the most anticipated first-time clashes on the WTA Tour, pitting two of the most tactically savvy players around against each other. Ultimately, it was the Australian who made superior adjustments throughout the match to come through the unknown challenge, striking 30 winners and snapping two Bencic streaks in doing so – the Moscow champion’s four-match winning streak, as well as her four consecutive wins against reigning World No.1s.
“It’s important to notice what’s not working, what is working, adjust the game plan accordingly,” said Barty, who has now won from a set down on 11 occasions this year. “I think in particular for tonight, it was important in the first two or three games in the second set to try to reset the tone. I was able to do that with my first service game, first return game, and roll on from there.
“I prefer not to be a set down more often than not. I mean, I want to hang around. I don’t want to roll over and give my opponent an easy win.”