Belinda Bencic kept Switzerland in the thick of the Olympic gold medal chase with a 1-6, 6-2, 6-3 comeback surprise on Tuesday over reigning French Open winner Barbora Krejcikova.
Former No. 4 Bencic took down the Czech who had won 22 of her last 23 matches in less than two hours in a rain-interrupted third-round contest in Tokyo.
“I had a strong opponent and I came to the court with too much respect,” the Swiss told SFR television. “But after the first set, I had nothing to lose.
Bencic overcame a dozen aces from Krejcikova, breaking the Czech five times while losing her own serve on four occasions, including twice in the first set.
Bencic finished with a minimal 15 winners and more than twice that number of unforced errors in the slap-dash victory. Krejcikova’s numbers were equally lop-sided: 13 and 32.
The last-eight challenge for Bencic comes in the form of experienced Russian Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova; victory in that match will put the winner into medal contention.