Hobart International: Belinda Bencic overcomes Dayana Yastremska to advance to the semifinal
Belinda Bencic found a way to get things under control at the Hobart International on Thursday. The 21-year-old had trouble rounding up consistency to her end leading the door ajar but slammed it shut in straight sets against Dayana Yastremska 7-6(2), 6-3 on center court at the Domain Tennis Center. It was the third win in a row for the former top ten player and the second in a row against the fifth-year pro.
The two met three times prior with the Ukrainian challenging Bencic more than ever during her run at the Luxembourg Open. The 18-year-old went the distance forcing the Swiss star to win her way to the final by inching her way to victory in a tiebreak. It was just the second win she achieved against Yastremska, hoping to get another with two wins under her belt currently.
The Ukrainian had easier matches than Bencic with her dealing with the wind but with conditions the same for their quarterfinal, the 21-year-old eyed putting her best foot forward having adjusted so well in previous matches.
After nearly breaking Yastremska in the first game, Bencic secured a hold of serve followed by a chance to break her in the third game. She succeeded doing so while controlling her own serve that led to a double break by the fifth opening the gap after 19 minutes. Yastremska called her coach complaining that the ball was flying everywhere and her inability to get on it.
Her coach told her to adjust and find ways to counteract both Bencic and the direction of the ball to make it go her way. That and the score began to flow for the teen who gained back major ground consolidating a break with a hold in the seventh.
Bencic had only won a point since standing 4-1 on Yastremska who made the eighth her completion of a massive comeback. The Ukrainian found her comfort zone sending Bencic into a spiral with the numerous double faults and faced the set slipping away completely. During a conversation with her father and coach, Bencic seemed to have little hope in her turning the tables in the late stages but still had to serve in the tenth.
Yastremska had three set points but couldn’t bring home the win as Bencic gave a little more effort to force deuce. She quickly gained the first AD point that levelled the playing field back. Despite her inability to get the lead in the 11th, the Swiss star was intent on giving a good fight win or lose.
She held off the Ukrainian in the 12th to force the tiebreak which she was good at. Bencic opened a 3-0 run before the teen got on the board. She showed no mercy getting to 5-1 before a second point from Yastremska was too much ground lost. The 21-year-old had four set points in hand to win the set 7-2 ending 49 minutes of play.
Yastremska had 20 winners in the set which showed her time of success but the unforced errors were her downfall in the early and late stages as Bencic minimized her number of mistakes on the returns. With the first stanza done and dusted, Bencic wanted a way to play better against the Ukrainian teen. It didn’t go that way as she failed to win a point during the first two games.
Bencic found a way to achieve a break to get into the set but it was already clear that an uphill battle loomed. Yastremska jumped two games to start the second making it appear to be a tough day on the court for the Swiss. On serve in the third, Bencic laid down the law giving up very little to the Ukrainian.
She added a break that levelled the score after four, making a serious push for progress. Before she could continue her quest, Yastremska managed to avoid a double break and evened things after six.
It became her last win as Bencic was intent on making it a one-way track handing Yastremska another defeat in seventh where she won a single point. The Swiss star made sure to get a step ahead of the 18-year-old on serve in the eighth that won her a second break of the set.
She put an end to the competition in the ninth attaining three match points to clinch her ticket to the semifinal after 1 hour and 22 minutes.
With another good show of dealing with a deficit and adjustments to the breeze, Bencic set up a fourth bout to come against Anna Karolina Schmiedlova or Irina-Camelia Begu on Friday.