Belinda Bencic reflects on edging out Maria Sakkari in Berlin thriller



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Belinda Bencic reflects on edging out Maria Sakkari in Berlin thriller

World No. 17 Belinda Bencic thought she and Maria Sakkari put on a show in their Berlin semifinal as she was glad that she was able to escape with a tight win over the second-seeded Greek. Bencic, who ended runner-up in Berlin last year, edged out Sakkari 6-7 (6) 6-4 6-4 to reach back-to-back finals at the tournament.

It was an absolute thriller as the match lasted just over three hours. It was the second meeting between Bencic and Sakkari on the WTA level. Two years ago in St. Petersburg, Sakkari defeated Bencic in three sets. Now, their head-to-head is tied at one win apiece.

"I thought that was an incredible match," Bencic said, per the WTA website. "We both kind of pushed really hard, we both didn’t give each other anything. I think it was high quality, of course we held our serves as much as we could, and I really felt like we put on a show there."

Bencic edged out Sakkari in a thriller

Both players struggled on their serves in the first set as four breaks were seen - two on each side. In the tie-break, Bencic won the 11th point to clinch a set point at 6-5, but then lost the next three points as Sakkari won a tight opener.

After losing the first set, Bencic saved two break points in the opening game of the second set, before breaking Sakkari in the 10th game, when the Greek was serving to stay in the second set. The exact same scenario happened in the third set as no breaks were seen until the 10th game, when Bencic broke Sakkari to complete a three-set win.

Last year, Bencic ended runner-up in the Berlin final to Liudmila Samsonova. Now, Bencic has another chance to win Berlin. In this year's Berlin final, Bencic plays fourth-ranked Ons Jabeur. Bencic owns a 2-1 head-to-head versus Jabeur, but she lost to the Tunisian when they clashed in Madrid a month and a half ago.