More frustration for Bencic in Luxembourg

Belinda Bencic’s quest for a WTA title in 2021 will need to wait as the Olympic gold medalist went down to Liudmila Samsonova in Luxembourg

Belinda Bencic, Adelaide, 2021

Top seed Belinda Bencic crashed out of the WTA Luxembourg Open with a straight-sets loss to Liudmila Samsonova.

Bencic, the Olympic gold medal winner, had designs on winning her first WTA title of 2021 having lost in the final in Adelaide and Berlin during so far this year.

However, there was more frustration for the Swiss, beaten in the quarter-finals of the US Open by eventual champion Emma Raducanu, as she was swept aside 6-1, 6-4 by Samsonova.

It is the second-best win of Samsonova’s career in terms of ranking with the Russian having defeated Kiki Bertens, then world No 11 back in March in Miami.

She will next meet Latvia’s Jelena Ostapenko for a place in the final after the former Roland-Garros champion saw off Alize Cornet 7-6 (8-6), 6-2.

Former Roland-Garros finalist Marketa Vondrousova twice trailed by a break in the first set against Elise Mertens but battled back to see off the second seed 7-5, 6-2. She now faces a semi-final with Denmark’s Clara Tauson, the teenager having breezed past Maria Bouzkova 6-3, 6-2 as she seeks her third title of the year.

At the Zavarovalnica Sava Portoroz WTA event in Slovenia, Kaja Juvan will face American Alison Riske after the Slovenian won two matches on Friday. Jasmine Paolini will meet Yulia Putintseva in the other semi-final.

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