Bencic beat Skari in the semi-finals of Berlin by three hours

It took 3 hours and 7 minutes, but Belinda Bencic returned to the bett1open final for the second year in a row.

8th seed Bencic won one of her ten longest matches of the season to outlast second seed Maria Skari of Greece 6-7 (6), 6-4, 6-4 in a grueling semi-final clash in Berlin.

In numbers: Bencic is now 4-2 against the top 10 on grass, as she moves into the fifth grasscourt final of her career. Bencic is chasing her second grasscourt title, making her debut at Eastbourne in 2015.

Bencic, who lost to Lyudmila Samsonova in last year’s Berlin final, was dominant behind her backhand, of which she had 19 of the 41 winners.

Bencic, last year’s Olympic gold medalist, tied 1-1 with Team Skary at the Tour level. Scarry had previously led the Swiss player in the Saint Petersburg 2020 quarter-final on indoor hard courts.

Main plays: Bencic held a set point at 6-5 in the first set tiebreak, but Scary eliminated that opportunity. The Greek then fired the winning goal with a backhand kick to collect her first point at 7-6. The winner, returning from the net, awarded Scary the first set after 72 minutes of surprise swings.

In the second set, though, Bencic grabbed the lead with confidence, holding on to the love 5-4 with three back-hand winners followed by an ace. Bencic then converted her fifth break point in the next game with a comeback winner, and tied the match.

For the second set in a row, there was no break through 5-4 as the third set remained closely contested. But once again, Bencic took her chance in the 10th inning, turning her third match point by following up a powerful backhand with an elusive winner.

More is coming…


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