Belinda Bencic Slumps to 3-Set Loss Against Anastasia Potapova, Crashes Out of WTA Dubai 2021

Published 03/10/2021, 7:12 AM EST
Tennis – Australian Open – Melbourne Park, Melbourne, Australia, February 11, 2021 Switzerland’s Belinda Bencic in action during her second round match against Russia’s Svetlana Kuznetsova REUTERS/Loren Elliott


Belinda Bencic crashed out of WTA Doha after losing to 88th-ranked Russian Anastasia Potapova in a round-of-16 tie on Wednesday.

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The Swiss held a 1-0 head-to-head advantage over the Russian going into the pre-quarter-final tie in Dubai. However, it was Potapova who set the tone early in a bid to even the score.

Belinda Bencic lost the opening set at a canter to Anastasia Potapova

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The Swiss World Number 12 fell behind early in the opening round as the Russian broke her serve. Potapova held her serve and lead to eventually take the opening set 6-1.

However, just when it seemed as if the 88th-ranked was running away with the round-of-16 tie, Bencic rolled up her sleeves and stage a fightback.

Belinda Bencic stormed right back into the game by winning the second set

Putting serious heat on her opponent’s serve, the Swiss won an early break and then doubled her advantage to open up a clear lead in the second set. Up 5-2, the Swiss got a decisive break in the eighth game to take the second set 6-2.

With Bencic storming right back into the contest, the two players were back on even terms going into the deciding set.

Bencic opened proceedings in the final set with a comfortable hold to go 1-0 up.

Tennis – Australian Open – Melbourne Park, Melbourne, Australia, February 11, 2021 Switzerland’s Belinda Bencic in action during her second round match against Russia’s Svetlana Kuznetsova REUTERS/Loren Elliott

Seeking an early break in the deciding set, Bencic pressed the Russian’s serve in the next game and ran up a game point on deuce. However, the Russian pulled level and managed to close out the game in her favor.

The Swiss star came into the tournament in the quest of redemption and her first Tour title of the year after being eliminated in the third round of this year’s Australian Open and falling to reigning French Open champion Iga Swiatek in the final of WTA Adelaide International.

While conceding two points in her next service game, Bencic managed to hold and go 2-1 up.

Though the Swiss again came out firing in the quest of a break, Potapova held on to make it 2-2 in the decider.

Belinda Bencic conceded a decisive break to Anastasia Potapova in the final set

The Russian put the squeeze back on Bencic’s serve in the next, but the Swiss brought up game point and wrapped it up to go 3-2 clear.

The two traded winners again in the next game before the Russian managed to come away with another service hold.

Bencic responded with the flawless hold in the next to go 4-3 up. The Russian played out a comfortable service game in the next to make it 4-4.

Tennis – Australian Open – Melbourne Park, Melbourne, Australia, February 13, 2021, Switzerland’s Belinda Bencic leaves court after losing her third-round match against Belgium’s Elise Mertens REUTERS/Jaimi Joy REFILE – CORRECTING ID

The Swiss brought up three game points in the next and closed it out to go 5-4 up.

Serving to stay in the match, Potapova ran up a 30-0 lead and soon converted the game point to even up the scoreline again.

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The Russian went 15-30 up in the next game, but Bencic managed to pull level.

Cashing in on her third break point of the game, the Russian went 6-5 up in the final set, seemingly taking a decisive hold on the game.

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Serving for the match, Potapova went 30-up in no time. She brought up match point and converted it to book a place in the last eight.

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Priyabrata Chowdhury

984 articles

Priyabrata Chowdhury is a tennis author for EssentiallySports. He has been a print journalist for a decade, producing news pages for leading national dailies such as the Hindustan Times and The New Indian Express. His passion for sports eventually drove him to tennis writing.

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