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Belinda Bencic Charges Into First Clay-Court Final in Charleston

Belinda Bencic beat Ekaterina Alexandrova to reach the Charleston Open final. Photo credit: Charleston Open Facebook

Cold, cranky conditions confronted players in Charleston today.

Belinda Bencic brought fire and desire charging into the first clay-court final of her career.

“Today we are freezing and it’s very windy,” Bencic told Tennis Channel’s Steve Weissman afterward. “I was a little bit concerned. It felt better on the court than I expected. And I’m really happy with the match.

“It’s very tough to play her. Sometimes you feel you’re doing all the right things, but it’s just not in your control. She hits some big serves and winners especially on grass it’s a little bit of a lottery. Today I felt good moving and just trying to give her the balls back and make her do some errors. I’m really happy with how I closed it out.”

The victory vaults Bencic into her 14th career final and back into the Top 15 in the live rankings.

Former world No. 4 Bencic will face either fourth-seeded Ons Jabeur or 47th-ranked American Amanda Anisimova, who is playing her first Tour-level semifinal on home soil.

Three straight love holds started the day’s first semifinal.

Creeping up closer to the baseline, Bencic relied on impeccable timing to take the ball on the rise. Winning a battle of backhands, Bencic gained triple break point. When Alexandrova floated a forehand, Bencic had the love break—the fourth love game of the set—and a 3-1 lead.

Bencic hammered her first ace of the day extending the lead to 4-1.

A net cord shot plopped over on the Swiss’ side of the net, giving Alexandrova her first break as she got back on serve in the seventh game.

Ultimately, Bencic’s second serve was sharper and she played critical points with more care than Alexandrova, who played with heavy taping around her right leg. Bencic held at 15 for 5-4 and broke to snatch a one-set lead in heavy conditions.