Belinda Bencic admitted she "just really tried hanging in there" before pulling off a stunning comeback win over Liudmila Samsonova in the Abu Dhabi final. Bencic, seeded at No 2, was on the brink of suffering a straight-set defeat but then saved three championship points en route to securing a 1-6 7-6 (8) 6-4 win over eighth-seeded Samsonova in nearly three hours of action.
Bencic, 25, now has eight WTA titles in her collection. "It’s been a really tight match, and I’m happy to turn these match points around. I just really tried hanging in there and scramble for every point, and just do my best.
I’m really happy to walk away with the title here and I think I played some really good matches, but they were also tough. I proved to myself that I can really fight hard and just stay in the matches and somehow turn it around," Bencic said following her Abu Dhabi triumph, per the WTA website.
How Bencic beat Samsonova?
Samsonova saved a break point in the first game of the match, before breaking Bencic in the second and sixth games to easily win the opener. After easily losing the first set, Bencic bounced back at the start of the second set as she earned her first break in the fourth game.
Bencic had a 5-2 lead in the second set but then failed to serve out for the set in the eighth game. In the 11th game, Bencic saved three consecutive break points before the set went into a tie-break. In the tie-break, Bencic saved three championship points before realizing her second set point to force a decider.
After surviving a major scare in the second set, Bencic claimed the first break of the third set in the third game. Bencic got broken back in the fourth game but then broke Samsonova again in the fifth game. This time, Bencic was able to hold to her serve and complete a big comeback win over Samsonova.
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