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Bencic Beats Badosa, Into Charleston Semifinals

Belinda Bencic rallied from a one set, 2-4 deficit to beat Paula Badosa in Charleston.

Staring down a one set, 2-4 deficit to nemesis Paula Badosa, Belinda Bencic was contemplating a post-match shower.

Then Bencic cleaned up her act and rode a torrent of deep drives into the Charleston semifinals.

A gritty Bencic broke twice in the final set beating Badosa for the first time 2-6, 7-6(2), 6-4 to battle into the Charleston semifinals for the second time.

This Charleston run propels Bencic back into the Top 20 at No. 18 in the live rankings, while Badosa continues her quest to try to surpass Barbora Krejcikova for the world No. 2 ranking.

Olympic gold-medal champion Bencic fought off 10 of 14 break points in a physical two hour, 47-minute victory. Bencic will play either Magda Linette or Ekaterina Alexandrova for a spot in Sunday’s final.

It is Bencic’s second career Top 10 clay-court win following a 2019 Madrid quarterfinal triumph over world No. Naomi Osaka.

Winless in three prior meetings vs. Badosa, including a three-set Charleston loss last spring, Bencic conceded “I thought I’m in the locker room already” facing that 2-4 second-set hole.

Bencic barely got a sniff of Badosa’s serve for a set-and-a-half, but never gave in and broke in three of the Spaniard’s final six service games.

“I know how she plays a lot, but it’s just very tough to play her—especially on clay—but I felt like everytime I played her, I got a little bit closer,” Bencic told Tennis Channel’s Steve Weissman afterward. “So that was like a positive thought for me. So I was not really scared going into the match and I really had nothing to lose.

“She’s number three in the world, she’s playing great tennis and it was going ot be a great match.”