Belinda Bencic reached the final of the 2020 Tokyo Games on Thursday. The Swiss fought past Elena Rybakina in their semi-final, posting a hard-fought 7-6(2), 4-6, 6-3 win in two hours and 44 minutes. Rybakina dominated the start of the match built a 5-2 lead.
She even had six set points to take the first set. But Bencic made her way back into the set first by saving all six break points and then by dominating the tie-break to pull herself ahead. The Kazakh avenged the opening set setback by taking the second set and pushing the match into the decider where after a tussle, the Swiss prevailed.
Bencic had fewer winners to Rybakina’s tally – 19 to the latter’s 24. But she also had significantly fewer forced and unforced errors as compared to her 15th-seeded opponent. While Rybakina had 49 forced and 40 unforced errors, Bencic had 32 forced and 34 unforced errors.
2020 Tokyo Games: Belinda Bencic's gunning for gold
In her post-match chat with the media, Bencic said, “My emotions right now... it's too high. To have a medal, it's the greatest thing. Even to be here as an athlete, in the Olympics, it's amazing.
To have a medal, it's something I dreamed of, and I didn't think it would become reality. I'm beyond relieved and happy”. Marketa Vondrousova will play the ninth seed in the final. The world no. 42 upset the fourth-seeded Elina Svitolina 6-3, 6-1 in their semi-final.
Vondrousova hit 14 winners to Svitolina’s eight and had nine forced and 18 unforced errors. In comparison, Svitolina hit 14 forced and 29 unforced errors. The match at the 2020 Tokyo Games between Belinda Bencic and Marketa Vondrousova will be their second career meeting.
They first played each other in the second round of the 2021 Miami Open with Vondrousova winning that encounter in three sets.