The defending champion in Dubai Belinda Bencic just came within 5 points of a Golden Set. In Dubai’s opener, she won the first 19 points of the match against Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova. After losing the first set, it was a massive turn around from the Russian.
Despite being a set and a break down, the reigning Australian Open quarterfinalist Pavlyuchenkova bounced back toppled World Number four Bencic 1-6, 6-1, 6-1. Bencic was pretty much dominating at the beginning of the match and later lost all her control. The top-ranked Swiss was saddened with her first-round defeat.
“I’m certainly not very happy. Of course, I’m disappointed. I feel like I have to work very hard to regain my confidence and will definitely do that. I will give everything in every practice to be confident again,” she reflected upon her loss in UAE.
Belinda Bencic to experience a drop in her rankings
After failing to defend her title, she will lose 900 points and her ranking will drop to World Number 9. Later, the Russian professional Pavlyuchenkova shared about her surreal turnaround in the match.
“Mentally I was quite positive, just playing point by point – even though it was 5-0 [and] I thought, Oh my God, it’s embarrassing, so bad. I think it helped me going into the second set because I took that mentality, that mindset of being positive and fighting, trying to do my thing,” she
“I was like, You know what doesn’t matter what the score is, just play. Slowly just started to turn around, I started to find my game,” the Russian said.
Other upsets in Dubai
“I just didn’t feel my game really well. Of course, she played well. I just made too many unforced errors and just didn’t take my chances. I felt really off the whole match and tried to somehow get back in there, hang in there, but it just didn’t work out today,” Kenin reflected post her defeat.