Belinda Bencic let a match point go before recovering on Friday to book a place in the final of the Adelaide International
The former WTA No. 4 Swiss will face reigning Roland Garros winner Iga Swiatek in the Saturday title showdown after the Polish teenager beat Bencic’s compatriot Jil Teichmann 6-3, 6-2.
Bencic survived to eliminate American teen Coco Gauff in a tight 7-6(2), 6-7(4), 6-2 result which took two and three-quarter hours; Bencic struck 33 winners, nearly balanced by 31 unforced errors against her 16-year-old opponent.
The second-seeded Swiss had a chance to close out a straight-set win over Gauff in the second set but was unable to convert on a match point.
She finally came good in the deciding third.
“I’m very proud of myself that I handled this match after all the ups and downs,” the winner who reached the Australian Open third round said. “It’s always a mix of relief and joy.
“In the Open, I felt like every ball I had to think about what I had to do to put it in court.. like, technically and legs – totally off timing. That’s what I call not confident.
“Your reactions are like instincts – you don’t think about it. I’ve been playing tennis since I was three years old.
“You wake me up at 2am, I can still play the same type of movements. My brain knows what I have to do.”
Swiatek, who beat Teichmann in a first-time meeting, will be competing in her first final since Paris in October when she lifted the Grand Slam honours.
“I felt pretty good from the beginning of the tournament. It’s really important for me,” she said.
“I feel it’s going to be easier year by year because I’m going to be more grown-up, I’m going to be able to physically and mentally handle tournaments every week.”
Swiatek dealt with just one break point in her semi-final win as she reached her third career final after beating an opponent who lifted two clay titles in 2019.
Main photo:- Iga Swiatek celebrates semi-final win – by WTA.com