Indomitable Bencic wins Abu Dhabi Open

Bencic rose to the occasion at the International Tennis Centre in Abu Dhabi to take victory in the new WTA 500 event

By Team KT

  • Follow us on
  • google-news
  • whatsapp
  • telegram

Top Stories

Belinda Bencic of Switzerland poses with the trophy. — Supplied photo
Belinda Bencic of Switzerland poses with the trophy. — Supplied photo

Published: Sun 12 Feb 2023, 11:17 PM

Last updated: Sun 12 Feb 2023, 11:18 PM

World number nine Belinda Bencic of Switzerland saved three championship points to become the first ever champion of the Mubadala Abu Dhabi Open as she registered a 1-6, 7-6, 6-4 victory over world number 19 Liudmila Samsonova in the singles final.

In the last match of the eight-day competition, Bencic rose to the occasion at the International Tennis Centre in Abu Dhabi to take victory in the new WTA 500 event, held in partnership with Abu Dhabi Sports Council and Mubadala on Sunday.

In front of a fantastic crowd at Stadium Court, Samsonova made a fast start, converting an early break point to lead 3-0. She continued to dominate, losing just one game to secure the first set 6-1.

The second set was the opposite as second seed Bencic found her rhythm to find herself 5-3 up and despite Samsonova rallying back, the Swiss saved three championship points to win the second.

Bencic then picked up where she left off, converting a break point early on before holding her serve to take the championship.

It was her first win against Samsonova having lost the previous three meetings and her second title of the year following her triumph in Adelaide.

“I’m really happy with how I stayed strong and I’m super happy to finally beat Samsonova and win the title especially as it was a tough final," Bencic said.

"The third championship point that I saved was a long rally and I tried to scramble for each shot and win another point. Sometimes it’s easy to lose focus and mentally walk away but I felt really good and my team kept pushing me all the way.”

The day also saw Brazil’s Luisa Stefani and China’s Shuai Zhang come from a set down to clinch the doubles title after defeating Japan’s Shuko Aoyama and Chinese Taipei’s Hao-Ching Chan 3-6, 6-2, 10-8.

Shuko Aoyama and Hao-Ching Chan made a perfect start to the match, winning the first four games of the set.

Stefani and Zhang managed to reduce the deficit, but Aoyama and Chan built on their advantage to seal the opening set.

Stefani and Zhang fought back in the second set to level the tie to force a decider which proved to be a close battle with the pair coming out on top 10-8.

“It was a great match and happy to have won the title with Shuai Zhang who I enjoyed playing with this week. I would like to thank Mubadala and Abu Dhabi Sports Council for putting on a great tournament and the whole team involved, and hopefully I can come back again next year,” Stefani said.


More news from Sports