Belinda Bencic beats Simona Halep to win Canadian Open
Bencic beat World No 1 Serena Williams in the semi-finals, and two former World No. 1s - Caroline Wozniacki and Ana Ivanovic in the previous stages of the tournament.
Swiss Belinda Bencic, the youngest player on court this tournament, took the title at the Rogers Cup in Toronto yesterday, beating Romania’s Simona Halep 7-6 (7-5) 6-7 (4-7) 3-0.
The 18-year-old, who emerged victorious over top seed, World No. 1 Serena Williams at the semi-finals of the tournament, beat the Romanian after the latter retired hurt from the match. Halep was seeded second. That was not the only upset Bencic pulled off at the tournament, beating a total of 3 World No. 1s – Williams, Caroline Wozniacki of Denmark and Serbia’s Ana Ivanovic.
Bencic is currently on a solid winning streak, having won a staggering 21 of her past 25 matches. Describing her victory as a “great match”, she told the BBC she would have been happy even if she had lost.
She is the only Swiss woman to have reached the Rogers Cup final since 2006, with the other her mentor and another former World No. 1, Martina Hingis.
This is Bencic’s second title win in as many months. Prior to this, she won the title at the Aegon International in Eastbourne, beating Agnieszka Radwanska of Poland.
Halep had several issues at the final, struggling with heat and pain in her right thigh, which gave her problems throughout the match. At one point, there was a medical time-out as medical staff on court checked Halep’s blood pressure. The Romanian spoke openly of her troubles, saying she was in so much pain at that point she would have needed a miracle were she to finish the match.
With Bencic up 5-3 in the second set and serving for the match, Halep managed to bring the set to a tiebreak. She was unable to force a third set, however, and walked over to Bencic to congratulate her and tell her she could not continue playing.
Going into this tournament at a WTA ranking of 20, Bencic now moves up to 12th.