“Tried hanging in there and scramble for every point” - Bencic on saving 3 championship points

“Tried hanging in there and scramble for every point” - Bencic on saving 3 championship points

by Jamie Malachy

Last updated

Belinda Bencic won the Abu Dhabi Open yesterday, overcoming Russian Liudmila Samsonova in three hard-fought sets to claim the eighth title of her career and her second for the season already.

In a captivating final, the Swiss World No. 9 recovered from losing a one-sided first set 6-1 to the talented young Russian. The second went right to the wire, however, with Bencic having to wrestle three championship points off her opponent during the climax of that pivotal second set.

The second seed ended up taking that breaker, then using the momentum to propel herself to victory in the third.

During her winner's speech, the Olympic gold medallist described how she able to hang on in the match by scrambling for every point, an attribute that has now paid dividends as she wins her second WTA title of the season by just the second month of the year.

It’s been a really tight match, and I’m happy to turn these match points around. I just really tried hanging in there and scramble for every point, and just do my best. I’m really happy to walk away with the title here and I think I played some really good matches, but they were also tough. I proved to myself that I can really fight hard and just stay in the matches and somehow turn it around.

Bencic during her winner's speech after clinching the title on Sunday

The Swiss' burgeoning career now boasts the highest number of wins so far this season with 12. The victory yesterday moved her one ahead of second-placed Sabalenka on 11. This title for Bencic also moves her level with the Belarusian Australian Open champion as the only other player on the WTA to have won multiple trophies this year.

This win over Samsonova marked Bencic's first win over the Russian in four attempts, as her new partnership with Dimitry Tursunov gathers momentum.


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