Russian qualifier Liudmila Samsonova came back from a set down to upset fifth seed Belinda Bencic in the final of the inaugural Bett1Open in Berlin and win her first WTA title.
The second set was a mirror reflection of the first one, but in the world No.106 Samsonova’s favor, as she raced to a 5-0 lead and soon afterwards forced the decider. The Russian underdog continued the momentum as Bencic dropped serve at the start of the third set. After fighting off three break points to hold serve for 5-3, Samsonova broke Bencic once again for a confident 1-6 6-1 6-3 victory.
The 22-year-old Samsonova came through qualifying last week, beating Noma Akugue Noha and Ana Konjuh after trailing 4-1 in the final set. Before defeating Bencic for her third Top 20 victory, Samsonova’s list of victims in Berlin included two Grand Slam finalists and one Grand Slam champion: Marketa Vondrousova, Madison Keys and Victoria Azarenka. (photo: Jimmie48)