Day 5 preview: Gauff-Bencic in stellar semifinal

25 February 2021, by Matt Trollope

On Friday, reigning Roland Garros champion Iga Swiatek lines up against Swiss lefty Jil Teichman from 3pm before Belinda Bencic takes on Coco Gauff in a stellar evening offering.

These are the scintillating singles semifinals set for fans at the Adelaide International as the action continues at Memorial Drive.

TICKETS: secure your seat at the semifinals!

Incredibly, this will be Swiatek’s third ever tour-level semifinal; in ominous news for Teichmann, the Polish teenager dominated her opponents in her previous two, at Lugano in 2019 and at Roland Garros in 2020.

Swiatek, who has won 14 of her last 16 matches, said she was feeling confident during her quarterfinal outing against Danielle Collins, and was looking forward to her clash with Teichmann.

“I know Jil pretty well because we played against her, I think, on exhibition tournament last year, and we also practice a few times. So I think it’s going to be a good match,” said the world No.18, who has not dropped a set so far this week.

“I like playing with her and I know I’m going to enjoy the game. So I can’t tell you my tactics or any specific things, but I feel good about the game.”

DAY 5 SCHEDULE: Adelaide International semifinals

Swiatek has enjoyed huge crowd support this week in Adelaide, bolstered by a large number of Polish fans in the Memorial Drive stands.

“I love Australia. My first tournament here actually was in Traralgon, I played juniors, and I won in singles and doubles, so I always have good memories from Australia,” she said.

“It’s like the perfect beginning of the season. Even though you have to travel to like the end of the world – for me it’s the end, sorry (smiling) – it’s always great, and I feel like a huge support from the fans.”

Swiatek and Teichmann – who beat Anastasija Sevatsova in a three-hour quarterfinal epic – have never played before.

And nor have Bencic and Gauff, in what promises to be a fascinating encounter.

Incredibly, at just 23 years of age, Bencic will be a comparative veteran on court when she faces the 16-year-old American.

“She’s a great player, and it’s gonna be a very good match. She has amazing results for how young she is,” Bencic said after beating Aussie qualifier Storm Sanders in straight sets.

READ MORE: Bencic, Swiatek, Gauff into Adelaide International semifinals

“I’m used to playing younger players now, but not that young, so it will be a cool experience.”

While Bencic has required just two wins to arrive at this stage, Gauff has needed five, beginning the week in the qualifying rounds and winning four of those five matches in three sets.

She revealed it was a huge confidence boost to progress to her first semifinal at WTA 500-level.

“Bencic I’m pretty familiar (with), she’s been on high in the rankings for a long time and I know she’s an aggressive player and she hits big shots,” Gauff said.

“Definitely I think playing (Adelaide) was the right decision, even though I had to go through quallies … at the end of the day I need more matches under my belt. I’m still new and need a lot more experience and it definitely plays a role.”