Bencic advances at Adelaide International | Ralph Lauren

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Second-seed Belinda Bencic has breezed into the Adelaide International quarter-finals with a straight-sets thumping of Japan’s Misaki Doi.

Bencic, after a first-round bye, has logged an emphatic 6-1 6-3 victory in her first appearance in the WTA event at Memorial Drive on Wednesday.

The Swiss 23-year-old, a beaten quarter-finalist in Adelaide last year, took six consecutive games from early in the first set to take a stranglehold on the match.

“I really like this court, it’s only my second time here in Adelaide but I love this tournament, I feel very comfortable here,” Bencic said in an on-court interview.

“I feel really good in this place, it has a nice energy for me … I am really happy to be in another quarter-final and hopefully I can win this time.”

Bencic advances to a Thursday quarter-final against the winner of Wednesday’s second-round clash between Russian seventh seed Yulia Putintseva and Australian qualifier Storm Sanders.

Bencic’s dominant display came as world No.1 Ash Barty’s path to defending her Adelaide title was made somewhat easier by the injury-enforced withdrawal of fourth-seed Elise Mertens.

The Belgian world No.17, who was in Barty’s half of the draw and a potential semi-final opponent for the Australian, pulled out of the tournament because of a right shoulder injury.

Mertens was replaced by Christina McHale but the Texan’s appearance was short-lived when outclassed by Latvia’s Anastasija Sevastova, who prevailed 6-4 6-1.

Barty meets American Danielle Collins in the opening match of Wednesday’s night session.

Barty’s clash with Collins – a rematch of a semi-final in the South Australian capital last year – will be followed by fellow Australian Maddison Inglis playing French Open champion Iga Swiatek.

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