Belinda Bencic credited the Ashe stadium crowd with helping her through into the US Open quarter-finals during Monday’s 7-6(12), 6-3, defeat of Iga Swiatek.

The Swiss who won the Tokyo Olympic gold medal last month, said that fan support was key as she advanced to the last eight here for the third time since 2014.

“The crowd the crowd always brings you back into the match and they definitely cheer for the one who is losing,” Bencic said after her tight victory in just over two hours, with the opening set taking up almost 90 minutes.

“”Having a big (crowd) is  very motivating; maybe (they inspire) you to fight more.”

The 11th-seeded  Bencic lost her previous match with 2020 Roland Garros winner Swiatek.

The Polish seventh seed turned the first set into a massive struggle as she broke Bencic back for 5-all and eventually took the opener into a dramatic tiebreaker.

Bencic came from 2-5 down, finally sealing the set on her fifth set point  – Swiatek had four herself – to end the 23-minute breaker and seize the match momentum.

The second set was smoother sailing for the Swiss, who advanced on her second match point.

“I think it was important that i put her under pressure: my serve is pretty good, and I felt very good on my service games,” Bencic said. It’s also mentally important because when you lose a set like this, it’s very frustrating.

“I started to focus on the next set and try to go up again quickly, put pressure on her again.”

Swiatek said she was out-played half a year after winning the Adelaide title against Bencic.

“For sure it was really tough, she’s playing  great tennis right now. You could see it during the Olympics.

:”I’m pretty happy with my performance, because I came back in the first set. It was hard to use my set balls because she was playing just great. 

“I’m just mad a little bit that I didn’t come back in second set and I drifted away a little bit.”

Bencic will next play British teen Emma Raducanu, who dismantled American Shelby Rogers 6-2, 6-1 as she won 12 of the last 13 games in a rout.

Emma Raducanu reacts during victory over Shelby Rogers by -Darren Carroll/USTA

The 18-year-old has already bettered the fourth round she reached at Wimbledon as she played the first major of her career.

Raducanu had to survive five deuces in the final game as she wrapped up victory in 67 minutes over the local, who ended with nearly 30 unforced errors while Raducanu played a steady 18 winners and 14 unforced.

Bencic knows she will face a challenge in the quarter-finals.

“Emma’s  up and coming and an amazing talent. I haven’t seen much yet how she plays, but  she’s definitely very athletic.

“She’s moving great, and she has great results.”

“Belinda is a great player who is in great form so I know I’m going to have to bring it on Wednesday and it’s just going to be who can dictate,” Raducanu said.

“I’m not really thinking about tennis right now, I’ll leave that to tomorrow.” 

Main photo:- Belinda Bencic winning today by Darren Carroll / USTA


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