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Bencic captures Charleston title, wins first final since Olympics

Belinda Bencic is the champion in Charleston after beating Ons Jabeur in a three-set final on Sunday afternoon. Jabeur’s first clay-court title is her first of any kind since the Tokyo Olympics.

Belinda Bencic Belinda Bencic AI / REUTERS / PANORAMIC

After Belinda Bencic won gold in the women’s singles event at last summer’s Tokyo Olympics, she struggled to get past the quarter-finals of her next events. In fact, she was a hard-to-believe 0-7 in her next seven quarter-final matches.

However, things started to turn around at the Miami Open. Bencic finally got over the quarter-final hump with a win over Daria Saville before losing to Naomi Osaka in a tight three-setter in the semis. With momentum in hand, the Swiss went even farther at this week’s Credit One Charleston Open.

How far? All the way to the title.

Playing in her first final since Tokyo, Bencic beat Ons Jabeur 6-1, 5-7, 6-4 on Sunday afternoon. The world No. 21 gave back a break in the third set but immediately recovered for another break and a 4-3 lead. Bencic missed one championship point with her opponent serving at 3-5, but he delivered a love hold at 5-4 to prevail after two hours and 35 minutes.

Sixth title for Bencic, first on clay

This is the sixth title of Bencic’s career and her first on clay. The final was just her second all-time on the red stuff.

The 25-year-old will climb to No. 13 in the WTA rankings on Monday.

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