Belinda Bencic, Dubai 2019

Dubai 2019: back to the future for Bencic

Junior number one and Wimbledon junior champion in 2013, Belinda Bencic was seen by some as the next big thing in women’s tennis. And everything went as according to plan: she reached the top 50 and the quarterfinals of the 2014 US Open, aged 17. She then went on to claim her maiden title in Eastbourne, defeating Agnieszka Radwanska, and her first Premier 5 title in Toronto, defeating Serena Williams in the semifinals and Simona Halep in the championship match.
And then? Not much, despite an entry to the top 10 in 2016. Injuries followed injuries and her ranking subsequently dropped to number 199 in 2017. Her results slowly improved and this week, ranked 45, she captured her third title, her second Premier 5. On her way to victory, she defeated 4 top 10 players: number 9 Aryna Sabalenka (saving six match points), number 2 Simona Halep, number 6 and two-time defending champion Elina Svitolina, and number 4 Kvitova in the final.
Let’s hope for her she’s definitely back on track, after all she’s only 21.

Her opponent in the final, Petra Kvitova continues her impressive comeback, two years after the assault she suffered. Winner in Sydney, runner-up at the Australian Open, she defeated Katerina Siniakova, Jennifer Brady, Viktoria Kuzmova and Hsieh Su-wei en route to her third final of the year.

Petra Kvitova and Belinda Bencic, Dubai 2019

Photo credit: Marianne Bevis

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