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Bencic Wins Abu Dhabi Title After Saving Three Matach Points Against Samsonova

Belinda Bencic needed to dig deep in the final of the Abu Dhabi Open to claim her second WTA title of the season, beating Liudmila Samsonova. Facing three championship points in the second set, the Swiss star fought back and eventually went on to triumph in the decider: “I proved to myself that I can really fight hard and just stay in the matches and somehow turn it around.”

Belinda Bencic pulled off a stunning fightback to win the Abu Dhabi Open, beating Liudmila Samsonova in the final.

The world No. 9 found herself on the brink of defeat as she stared down three championship points before rallying to overcome her Russian opponent 1-6 7-6(8) 6-4.

Samsonova for her part dominated the first set, registering 89% on her first service points won as she needed just 36 minutes to take the lead in the match.

Bencic battled back at the start of the second to take an early break, but missed an opportunity to serve out the set when she lost her serve at 5-4 up.

World No. 19 Samsonova forced the tie-break and looked on the brink of her fifth WTA title, but could only find the net on her first two match points before going long on the third.

This was just the opening Bencic, who proved stronger in the longer rallies, needed and eventually forced the decider.

Samsonova’s otherwise brilliant serving let her down early in the third as she was surprisingly broken to love to go 2-1 down.

Despite breaking back immediately, she surrendered her serve again and Bencic, now in the ascendancy, was able to serve out the match for the title – also beating Samsonova for the first time in four attempts.

“It’s been a really tight match, and I’m happy to turn these match points around,” Bencic said afterwards. “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.”

Victory for Bencic saw her claim her eighth WTA tour title and second of 2023 following her Adelaide International triumph in January.

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