Swiss player Belinda Bencic overcame a three-setter to defeat Petra Kvitova and win the WTA Dubai Open title on Saturday.
Bencic, unseeded in the tournament, clinched her first WTA title in nearly four years, defeating the Australian Open finalist 6-3, 1-6, 6-2. The former world number seven, who has been beset by injuries over the years, shrugged off nerves and the fact she hadn’t won a title since 2015 to romp home to her third WTA title.
In winning the title, Bencic defeated Aryna Sabalenka in the third round, third seeded Simona Halep in the quarter-finals and sixth seeded Elina Svitolina in the semis before her three-set win over Kvitova ensured she would go home rather elated.
And she did sound elated after the encounter. She said:
“It’s unbelievable. It’s incredible. I mean, I still cannot believe it. Especially I’m realizing after two rounds, we were already saying, ‘Wow, this is a great tournament.’ Now it’s only bonus.”
Bencic admitted she was herself surprised by the way she went after the first two rounds, given she was not expected to win following that and everything after that was expected to be a bonus. Incidentally, in her match against Sabalenka, Bencic saved six match-points and needed a final set tie-breaker against Svitolina to get to the final.
Kvitova was in her third final in just her fifth tournament and was expected to start off as a favourite given her record against Bencic – she had won all her previous three outings against the Swiss player. And she pointed out the fact she didn’t play as well as she had in the Australian Open, serving a lot worse than then.
This will now be followed by the ATP Dubai Open that begins from Monday where Kei Nishikori and Roger Federer will lead the draw as the top two seeds.