Tenth seed Belinda Bencic battled past fourth seed Ons Jabeur 6-1 5-7 6-4 to win her first clay-court title at the 2022 Credit One Charleston Open.
Playing her 14th WTA singles final, and first on clay, the world No.21 Bencic stormed through the first set without facing a break point and went up a break at the start of the second set. It looked like the Swiss would make short work of her opponent, but the Tunisian started fighting back.
After losing six games in a row, Jabeur finally broke Bencic’s serve and leveled the second set at 1-1. When Jabeur established a 4-2 lead, it looked like we could be heading to the third set, but Bencic broke back right away and kept the tension.
At 5-5 in the second set, Bencic had two opportunities to break Jabeur, but wasted them both. Jabeur hung in there to win two games in a row and edge the tight set.
The third set opened with an exchange of breaks initiated by Bencic, the same scenario we had at the start of the second set. This time, however, Bencic jumped to a 3-1 lead. Jabeur fought back to 3-3, but Bencic managed to win two games in a row and even hold a match point on her opponent’s serve. After failing to capitalize on that one match point, Bencic finished the job in her own service game, with a love hold.
Bencic defeated Wang Xiyu, Linda Fruhvirtova, Madison Keys, Paula Badosa and Ekaterina Alexandrova to reach her first final since Olympics in 2021. With the win over Jabeur in Sunday’s Charleston final, the 25-year-old clinched her sixth title.
The 2022 Credit One Charleston Open triumph will lift Bencic to the No.13 WTA singles ranking on Monday. Runner-up Jabuer is projected to move to No.9.
Belinda Bencic’s winning apparel: the Nike Spring Advantage Novelty Tank and Nike Spring Advantage Pleated Skirt.