World No 9 Belinda Bencic has withdrawn from her Doha quarterfinal match as Iga Swiatek has received a free pass into the semifinal at the tournament. Bencic, 25, won the Abu Dhabi Open last week. On Sunday, Bencic recovered from a set down to beat Liudmila Samsonova in the Abu Dhabi final that lasted nearly three hours.
After a deep Abu Dhabi run, Bencic still decided to compete at this week’s WTA 500 event in Doha. On Tuesday, Bencic destroyed Viktoria Tomova 6-0 6-1. The following day, Bencic recovered from a set and a double break down to beat Viktoria Azarenka 1-6 7-6 (4) 6-4.
After creating an impressive comeback against Azarenka, Bencic decided to withdraw from her Doha quarterfinal match against Swiatek. This move by Bencic shouldn’t be that surprising since some expected the Swiss wouldn’t even play in Doha after her Abu Dhabi run.
How Bencic created a stunning comeback against Azarenka?
Bencic got off to the worst possible start to the match as Azarenka claimed back-to-back breaks to open a 5-0. In the sixth game, Bencic finally got on the board but it didn’t change much since Azarenka served out for the first set in the following game.
After easily winning the first set, Azarenka broke Bencic in the first and fifth games of the second set to go up by a double break and take a 4-1 lead in the second set. Just when it seemed Azarenka would clinch a dominant straight-set win over Bencic, the Swiss claimed back-to-back breaks in the sixth and eighth games to get both breaks back and eventually send the set into a tie-break.
In the second-set tie-break, Bencic opened an early 4-1 lead before converting her second set point to send the match into a decider. After stealing the second set from Azarenka, Bencic broke the Belarusian in the very first game of the second set.
That one break of serve was enough for Bencic, who held on to her serve for the remainder of the third set to complete a three-set win. Unfortunately for all tennis fans, we now won’t get a Bencic and Swiatek match.