Swiatek sinks Bencic in Adelaide final to win second career title - GulfToday

Swiatek sinks Bencic in Adelaide final to win second career title


Iga Swiatek poses with her trophy after beating Belinda Bencic in the final of Adelaide International tournament on Saturday. Associated Press

French Open champion Iga Swiatek crushed world number 12 Belinda Bencic in straight sets to claim the Adelaide International at Memorial Drive on Saturday.

The 19-year-old Pole was in ruthless form as she downed Bencic 6-2, 6-2 to claim the second title of her career.

Swiatek burst onto the tennis scene at Roland Garros last year when she claimed the French Open crown, defeating then world number six Sofia Kenin in the final. She started strongly against Bencic and never eased up, breaking her Swiss opponent twice in each set to wrap up a comfortable victory. Bencic had been forced to battle for almost three hours to see off Coco Gauff in their semi-final on Friday night, and she started strongly in Saturday’s final.

Both players were untroubled, holding their opening service games until Bencic’s serve deserted her at 2-2 and Swiatek took full advantage.

She broke Bencic and was never in trouble after that, running away with the title on the back of a powerful forehand and Bencic’s misfiring serve, which included eight double faults.

Swiatek went into the tournament as world number 18 but will now rise to a career-high 15 as a result of the win, her first hard-court title.

She said she appreciated being able to play in front of spectators during the Australian tournaments, particularly in front of a capacity crowd for the Adelaide final.

Bencic, whose 2020 was badly affected by injury problems, was playing her 11th final but her first for 12 months. The former world number four showed some glimpses of her best tennis but had no answers against Swiatek.

“Tennis can be a little bit brutal,” she said.

The women’s doubles final was won by Chilean-US pair Alexa Guarachi and Desirae Krawczyk, who beat Hayley Carter of the US and Brazil’s Luisa Stefani 6-7 (4/7), 6-4, 10-3.

Popyrin dashes crushes Cilic’s Singapore title hopes: Australia’s Alexei Popyrin took out third seed Marin Cilic in an absorbing contest at the Singapore tennis Open on Saturday, prevailing 7-6 (5),7-6 (2) over the Croat to make it to his first ATP Tour final.

Popyrin let out a huge roar after sealing his victory in front of 250 fans, who were allowed to attend the tournament after passing Covid-19 tests.

“I worked my whole life to get into an ATP final and I’m finally in one tomorrow. It’s definitely an amazing feeling but I got one more match to go and I want to focus on that,” said the world number 114.

After taking the second set to a tiebreak, Popyrin raced to a 5-0 lead with his huge serves, helped no less by two unforced errors from Cilic.

The former world number three managed to stage a fightback to 2-5 but another ace from Popyrin swung the advantage back to the Australian, giving him four match points.

A powerful serve followed by a forehand winner eventually saw Popyrin winning in just under two hours.

Kazakhstan’s Alexander Bublik sent Moldova’s Radu Albot packing in the day’s other semi-final match with a 2-6, 6-3, 6-4 victory to head into his fourth ATP final, where he will take on Popyrin.

Agence France-Presse

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