An irate Belinda Bencic bounced a few racquets as the Swiss lost on her 24th birthday Wednesday to exit the third round of the WTA event in Dubai.
The sixth seed let her emotions surface at times during a frustrating 6-1, 2-6, 7-5 loss to teenaged Anastasia Potapova.
Victory by the 88th-ranked Russian took nearly two and a half hours, with 2019 tournament champion Bencic striking seven double-faults to a dozen for the younger winner. – including five in a second-set game which ran for 12 deuces.
Potapova underwent ankle surgery last August just as the Tour was returning from the five-month COVID-19 shutdown.
The former junior No. 1 has been making up for lost time and is competing in her sixth event since the start of 2021, making the most of her wild card here.
February’s Adelaide finalist Bencic was unable to stop her opponent from reaching a fifth WTA semi-final at the Tour level.
Bencic now has time to kill before the start later this month in Miami. Due to COVID restrictions in Switzerland, she will have to remain on the road, extending a trip which began in mid-January in Australia.