Belinda Bencic has rallied to beat second-seeded Paula Badosa 2-6 7-6 (7-2) 6-4 and reach the semi-finals of the Credit One Charleston Open.
No.4 Ons Jabeur also reached the final four in the season’s opening clay-court event, beating Anhelina Kalinina 6-3 6-2.
Badosa, of Spain, was up a set and 4-2 in the second when Swiss Bencic found her rhythm.
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Bencic took a 5-4 lead and held on to force the tiebreaker. She took control there, winning five of the final six points to tie up the match.
The final set was tied at four-all when Bencic, who won Olympic gold in singles at Tokyo last summer, took control for good.
She hit a service winner to set up match point then celebrated when Babosa’s final shot went into the net. It was Bencic’s first win over the world’s third-ranked player in four tries.
“I felt very uncomfortable the first set and a half,” Bencic said. “I was just trying to hang on to my service games with the wind. I felt like I needed to get my game together and make it harder for her.”
Bencic did that when it mattered most.
“I really had nothing to lose,” said Bencic, ranked 21st in the world.
It’s the second trip to the semi-finals here for Bencic, the 10th seed. The first came in her initial appearance at the season-opening clay-court tournament in 2014.
Bencic will now meet the winner between Magda Linette and Ekaterina Alexandrova.
Jabeur, of Tunisia, had little trouble advancing into the semis for the second straight year.
She actually had two strong weeks in Charleston in 2021 with her semi-final run at this tournament, then a trip to the finals a week later at a second clay-court event at this facility where she was beaten by Australian Astra Sharma in three sets.
Jabeur appears just as comfortable and confident this time around.
She hasn’t lost a set in three matches here, winning all of them by 6-3 6-2 scores. She’s been on court a total of three hours, 17 minutes.
Jabeur will now face the winner of Americans CoCo Vandeweghe and Amanda Anisimova.