Bencic stops Petra to claim Dubai crown

Belinda Bencic is officially back to her winning ways after claiming the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships’ trophy in a dramatic final, toppling No.2 seed Petra Kvitova in three sets to win the title.

The unseeded Bencic, ranked No.45 in the world, came into the match looking to lift her first WTA trophy since the Rogers Cup in Toronto in 2015. Having broken into the Top 10 rankings as a teenager, Bencic found her career derailed by injuries – including wrist surgery.

Now, the Swiss player is back in the ascendancy after taking down Australian Open finalist Kvitova, 6-3, 1-6, 6-2 in an hour and 45 minutes to claim her third career title.

Along the way, she claimed four WTA Top 10 wins – saving six match points against No.9 Aryna Sabalenka, coming back from a set down against No.2 Simona Halep and ending two-time defending champion Elina Svitolina’s reign at the Emirati event, before taking on No.4 Kvitova in the final.

The victory makes her just the second-ever Swiss woman to win a trophy at Dubai, following in the footsteps of 2001 champion Martina Hingis.

Even sweeter for Bencic, she’ll rise to back inside the WTA’s Top 30 with the title, landing at No.23 when the new rankings are released on Monday.