Dubai | Bencic ends four year drought
Belinda Bencic won the Dubai Championships defeating Petra Kvitova 6-3 1-6 6-2 and promised to make her first parachute jump in celebration of ending a four year drought of titles.
This is amazing, I can't believe it Belinda Bencic
“We agreed that the next title I won, we would go skydiving,” the delighted Bencic revealed though the Swiss said after ending a four-year trophy drought.
The 21-year-old last won a title in Toronto 2015 before the former world number seven’s career was blighted by a series of back and wrist injuries.
Saturday’s title – the third of her career – will see her jump to 23 in the new world rankings from her current spot of 45th.
“This is amazing, I can’t believe it,” the champion said. “It’s an honour to be on the court with Petra.
“It’s incredible. After two rounds we were already saying ‘wow, this is a great tournament. Now it’s only a bonus.
“So many times I was close to defeat. It’s unbelievable that I ended up winning this. I was not coming into this tournament thinking about winning at all. It was really seeing who I play first round.”
Against Aryna Sabalenka in the third round, Bencic had to save six match points before going on to beat world number two Simona Halep and two-time defending Dubai champion Elina Svitolina.
Reflecting on the match, she added: “There was not much I could do, Petra plays so fast, so I had to do the same.
“I just kept trying to return balls and put the pressure on her. With Petra, she’s hitting full power, so it was incredibly tough first set.
“In the second set, I missed by little in the start of the games, then she gained a lot of confidence. She was playing great. She was serving great.”
Bencic won her 13th match of the season against two defeats while Kvitova was thwarted in a second final after winning Sydney but losing the Australian Open title match to Osaka.
“She played great, it was a tough one today for sure,” Kvitova said. “It was a very exhausting week.”