Bencic upsets Kvitova to lift Dubai title

Belinda Bencic Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships Dubai

Petra Kvitová failed to secure a second title in Dubai on Saturday, losing 3:6, 6:1, 2:6 to Switzerland's Belinda Bencic in the final.

By the time she got to Kvitova, who has had a full and rather eventful month that included reaching the Australian Open final and testifying against the man who allegedly attacked her in her apartment, it was nearly fate.

But it was Bencic who won the mental battle in the third set by breaking Kvitova at 1-1 before winning another break point at 4-2 to serve for the match.

"I was supporting her after I lost, she really deserved it", Bencic said of the eventual finalist in Melbourne.

Saturday's title - the third of her career - will see her jump to 23 in the new world rankings from her current spot of 45th. Victory over Kvitova was Bencic's fourth straight comeback this week at the Aviation Club. "I mean, I still can not believe it", she said. She is only the third unseeded player to win the title, following Venus Williams in 2014 and Sara Errani in 2016.

Two-time Wimbledon champion Kvitova is one of the hardest hitters in the women's game, but found herself outwitted by Hsieh in a tense first set and the Czech's frustration showed as she made 12 unforced errors to Hsieh's one in the opener.

After holding for 6-5, Bencic was then unable to convert on three match points a game later.

For Bencic the game seems to be a Disaster.

"I wish I could have played better", Svitolina said.

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"I just kept trying to return balls and put the pressure on her. I didn't play great at the end of the first".

Bencic has beaten four players ranked in the top 10 this week, and saved six match points against No. 9 Aryna Sabalenka in the second round.

Kvitová looked to have Bencic on the ropes when she broke the Swiss' serve twice in a second set which she won comfortably.

'I think was kind of an up-and-down match today, said Kvitova.

The doubles final was won by Su-Wei Hsieh and Barbora Strycova, who defeated Lucie Hradecka and Ekaterina Makarova 6-4 6-4.

The pair began the third set with an exchange of service breaks, but Kvitova broke again and then held her serve to get in front before wrapping up the win. I am proud of how I managed to play the final. We had the chemistry on court.

"Yeah, it's the first thing we will do in the morning". But, yeah, I missed some easy shots. So many times I was close from defeat. "That helped us a lot to have the confidence again".

Entering the final against Kvitova, Bencic knew she had never taken a set off of the Czech lefty in any of their three previous meetings. I'm glad that I was able to came back in the second. We always enjoy. I mean, last week was tough, but I was very positive.

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