Adelaide International: Belinda Bencic earns hard-fought win over Coco Gauff to set up final against Iga Swiatek

Bencic set up a final showdown against Poland's French Open champion Iga Swiatek with her 7-6 (7/2), 6-7 (4/7), 6-2 win.

Agence France-Presse February 26, 2021 17:54:21 IST
Adelaide International: Belinda Bencic earns hard-fought win over Coco Gauff to set up final against Iga Swiatek

File image of Belinda Bencic. AP

Second seed Belinda Bencic battled for almost three hours before seeing off 16-year-old American Coco Gauff in three sets Friday to reach the final of the Adelaide International.

Bencic set up a final showdown against Poland's French Open champion Iga Swiatek with her 7-6 (7/2), 6-7 (4/7), 6-2 win.

Fifth-seeded Swiatek had a much easier passage to the final, beating Swiss player Jil Teichmann 6-3, 6-2.

Bencic went into the semi-final against Gauff as favourite, but the young American has been in good form this week, winning through two rounds of qualifying just to make the main draw.

And the teenaged Gauff got away to a superb start, breaking Bencic's opening service game and racing away to a 3-0 and 4-1 lead.

But the former world number four began to find her range and reeled the young American in, breaking back and getting the set back on terms.

The opening set went to a tiebreak and Bencic had all the momentum, winning it comfortably and wrapping up the first set in 58 minutes.

Bencic took that momentum into the second set, breaking Gauff early while holding her own serve easily.

But serving for the match at 5-3, Bencic stumbled and Gauff pounced, breaking back to get the set back on serve and taking it to a tiebreak, holding on to level the match at one set apiece.

But the third set was all Bencic as she took advantage of her fatigued opponent to race away with the match and reach her 11th WTA final.

"I'm super relieved — I tried to fight the best that I can," she said.

"She really gave me a hard time. At times I didn't know what to do but I'm really happy to win and get through to the final."

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