DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP) — Unseeded Swiss player Belinda Bencic pulled off another upset to win her first WTA title in three-and-a-half years, beating Petra Kvitova 6-3, 1-6, 6-2 Saturday in the final of the Dubai Championships.
The 45th-ranked Bencic has struggled with injuries in recent years but finally seems to be back to her best, following up wins against second-ranked Simona Halep and two-time defending champion Elina Svitolina by outlasting Kvitova.
She was on the front foot from the start against the two-time Wimbledon champion, breaking her opponent straight away and jumping out to a 4-1 lead. Kvitova’s serve improved in the second set, though, and the Czech player also broke Bencic three times to level the match.
But Bencic got the first break of the decider to go up 2-1 and then broke again for a 5-2 lead before serving out the match, clinching her first title since the Rogers Cup in Toronto in 2015.
Bencic has beaten four players ranked in the top 10 this week, and saved six match points against No. 9 Aryna Sabalenka in the second round.