Iga Swiatek Upsets Belinda Bencic to Clinch Maiden Hard-Court Title at WTA Adelaide 2021

Published 02/27/2021, 4:12 AM EST
Tennis – Australian Open – Melbourne Park, Melbourne, Australia, February 14, 2021 Poland’s Iga Swiatek in action during her fourth round match against Romania’s Simona Halep REUTERS/Asanka Brendon Ratnayake


Reigning French Open champion Iga Swiatek lifted her maiden WTA Tour title after routing Swiss World Number 12 Belinda Bencic in the final of the WTA Adelaide 2021 on Saturday.

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A Grand Slam champion at 19, Swiatek opened the proceedings with a confident service hold and the Swiss responded by serving our opening game to go 1-1 in the first set.

There wasn’t much to separate the two players in the early exchanges as the Pole played out another assured service game to go 2-1 up.

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Iga Swiatek broke Belinda Bencic twice to claim the opening set 6-2

However, in the first instance of nerves in the big clash, Bencic’s serve nearly wilted in the fourth game as the World Number 18 pressed her for a break. However, the Swiss managed to hold.

Both players landed a similar percentage of serves in the opening games and were marginally adrift of each other in terms of points won.

Tennis – Australian Open – Melbourne Park, Melbourne, Australia, February 9, 2021, Switzerland’s Belinda Bencic in action during her first-round match against Lauren Davis of the U.S. REUTERS/Kelly Defina

Bencic tried to stage a fightback on Swiatek’s serve as the Pole went 40-0 up in the fifth game. However, Iga managed to come away with a win to extend her lead to 3-2.

Swiatek pressed the Bencic serve again in the following game, going 30-40 up, and managed to cash in on her first breakpoint to go 4-2 clear in the opening set. Bencic tried to hit back in the game after going 15-30 up. However, Swiatek leveled the score and held serve to extend her lead to an unassailable 5-2.

Serving to stay in the opening set, Bencic looked to be feeling the pressure as she trailed 15-30 in the eighth game. The Pole scored her second breakpoint, but the Swiss saved it.

Rampant Swiatek barrels down on Belinda Bencic in the second set

After an absorbing passage of play, with one player looking to go a set up and another desperate to stay in it, Swiatek managed to cash in on her third breakpoint to take the opening set at a canter.

Tennis – Australian Open – Melbourne Park, Melbourne, Australia, February 14, 2021, Poland’s Iga Swiatek reacts during her fourth-round match against Romania’s Simona Halep REUTERS/Asanka Brendon Ratnayake

Though both players banked on their individual strengths and skill-sets, having never played each other before, it was the Pole who seemed to hold the aces going into the second set.

Bursting with momentum, the Pole played out a quick service game hold to go 1-0 up in the second set. Looking to recover after the loss of her last service game, Bencic went 40-15 up in her opening service game in the second. However, Swiatek, looking for an early break, took the game to deuce. Though the Swiss managed to hold, the cracks seemed to be widening in her game.

Iga Swiatek went with momentum in the second set as the fight went out of Belinda Bencic

The Pole played out another comfortable service game to go 2-1 up in the second set. Putting the squeeze on the Bencic serve again, Swiatek ran up a 0-40 lead in the next game and converted her fourth breakpoint to go 3-1 clear. The writing seemed on the wall for the hapless Swiss.

With a championship win firmly in her sight, the Pole served out the next game to extend her lead t0 4-1. The fight seemed to have gone out of Bencic at this point as she went through the motions, almost as if she was waiting for the inevitable.

Though Bencic won her following service game, the damage was already done. Wary of loosening her grip on the game, Swiatek served out the next game in no time to go 5-2 clear.

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Serving to stay in the contest, Bencic ran up a 15-30 deficit and the Pole soon scored her fifth breakpoint to be on the brink of a championship win.

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Swiatek converted her first match point to seal a commanding title win at the WTA Adelaide 2021.

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Priyabrata Chowdhury

845 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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