Saturday, April 9, 2022

Bencic and Jabeur to contest for the Charleston championship

Belinda Bencic (photo by Daniel Ward)
10th seed Belinda Bencic got a big step closer to winning her first title on clay today, when she defeated Ekaterina Alexandrova 6-4, 6-3 in the Credit One Charleston Open semifinals. The Swiss star didn't have an easy time getting to the final--her first on clay. In her first round match against Wang Xiyu, she was two points away from defeat, and in her quarterfinal match, she had to make a comeback to defeat Paula Badosa, whom she had not defeated in three other tries. 

Discussing her feelings about playing on clay, Bencic told the press: "I feel like over-analyzing sometimes it's worse, and that's what I said on the on-court interview. I just had like two days of practice after Miami to play the first round here. And I think sometimes that's better. You just, I don't know, just play and not think too much. You adapt quickly, and your body knows what to do."

Ons Jabeur (photo by Daniel Ward)
The final promises to be intriguing: Bencic's opponent will be 4th seed Ons Jabeur, who defeated 15th seed Amanda Anisimova in the second semifinal. That was a match of intense momentum swings, as Anisimova won the first set 6-2 with very aggressive play, and Jabeur won the second set 6-1. The 4th seed took the final set 6-4. It was a chilly windy day, which added to the drama.

Last year, Jabeur reached the semifinals of the tournament, in which she was defeated by Danka Kovinic. She then reached the final of the MUSC Health Women's Open, a WTA 250 event also held in Charleston, in which she lost to Astra Sharma. 

"...I don't have very good records in the finals. Let's start by that. Let's start by showing that I can really
push myself more mentally, physically and on the court, you know, playing a player that is strong enough and not easy to play in the finals. I think let me start by showing that side of me, the mentality that I'm going with tomorrow. I think that will be the best thing that I can show tomorrow."

Both Bencic and Jabeur are stylish players who each possess a large variety of shots. And while Jabeur is known as a stunning shot-maker with a lot of variety, Bencic is dangerous because she takes the ball very early, and also has superb touch.

Belinda Bencic (photo by Daniel Ward)

Ons Jabeur (photo by Daniel Ward)


The doubles final will feature Lucie Hradecka and Sania Mirza, who upset top seeds Caroline Dolehide and Zhang Shuai, and 4th seeds Andreja Klepac and Magda Linette, who defeated Vivian Heisen and Xu Yifan.

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