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Luxembourg Open: Bencic makes it six straight with win over Lapko in QF

Rudy Martinez
18 Oct 2018, 19:27 IST

Belinda Bencic has her eyes on the ball and more after advancing to the semifinals of the Luxembourg Open
Belinda Bencic has her eyes on the ball and more after advancing to the semifinals of the Luxembourg Open

Belinda Bencic clinched another solid victory at the BGL BNP Paribas Luxembourg Open on Thursday afternoon. The Swiss star had a bit to deal with against Vera Lapko but got through it all scoring a 6-4, 6-1 victory on Stadium Court at the CK Sportscenter.

Revenge for last week’s defeat was back in the mind of Bencic who had a rough outing to start the tournament in her home country. The Belorussian took her for a ride after losing the first set allowing the Swiss star just one game through the next two sets. With five consecutive match wins, the 21-year-old was not going to be kind in her quest for a title victory in the final WTA tournament of the season.

Lapko opened to serve first but saw a challenge from Bencic come the second point. From there, she was relentless to keep the attack up on the 20-year-old, thus gaining a break point chance. Lapko saved her service to take it to deuce but saved a second from Bencic to hold. She got back at the world number 47 and forced deuce, leading to a longer tug of war for control. The two went five breaks before Bencic managed to hold after losing three chances to end it earlier.

She made up for it breaking Lapko in the third game before consolidating it with a hold of serve in the fourth. The 20-year-old climbed back into contention trading off wins through seven. By the eighth game, Bencic had increased her gap to two games to put pressure on Lapko as the window began to close on the set. Though she refused to give another break to her Swiss opponent, her hold in the ninth didn’t change the inevitable as Bencic set herself up with two set points to take it after 48 minutes. She recorded more than 82 percent from her service game with 68 points won on the first serve.

While there had been a lot of effort put in by the two to start the match, it suddenly took on a different look that gave Bencic a lot more comfort. She saw it come together after rallying from 15-40 to force deuce and take it on her first break opportunity. She converted the break off Lapko with a great service hold in the second allowing the Belorussian a single point in response. It was soon an easier task to hold off Lapko as the double break was secured to take a 3-0 lead.

She held the 20-year-old to another single point on serve in the fourth, which gave the look of a runaway and her first bagel of the tournament. However, Lapko wouldn’t go down like that and made good game in the fifth to avoid the embarrassment of it. Despite needing to force deuce, Lapko saved three break points in total to make three a charm.

Bencic was not taken aback by her opponent’s tenaciousness as she went back to business scoring another double game point before breaking her down with a triple match point ,scoring the fourth break of serve in the match in 1 hour and 19 minutes. Though she didn’t have the same percentage as the first set, Bencic made good on scoring what she got across the court with six of seven from the first and six of eight.

Lapko had struggled on the return side of her game since the match began. While she tried to fix that aspect this time around, the 21-year-old would take that next step to the semifinals where she awaits Margarita Gasparyan or Ukrainian up and comer Dayana Yastremska.

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