Toronto, Aug 17: Eighteen-year-old Belinda Bencic of Switzerland capped off her Rogers Cup debut with a 7-6 (5), 6-7 (4), 3-0 victory over No. 2 seed Simo Halep of Romania in Toronto. After two long sets that lasted over an hour each on Sunday, Halep was forced to retire in the third set due to a left leg injury and heat exhaustion.
“Today it was so tough and very hot conditions. It was for sure very hard today for both players,” said Bencic of the 50-degree Celsius temperature on the court. “We both were fighting so hard. We had long rallies, so it was obvious that we were very exhausted.”
The victory is Bencic’s first premier-five level title and second WTA title. She also earns her $456,000 first place prize, her biggest payday of her professiol career.
The path to the championship was not easy, for the unseeded Bencic, who took down six Grand Slam filists during the tourment.
She began the tourment by elimiting Eugenie Bouchard (2014 Wimbledon filist) in the first round and Caroline Wozniacki (2009 an 2014 US Open filist) in the second round.
Bencic then proceeded to elimite German Sabine Lisicki (2013 Wimbledon filist) and A Ivanovic (2007 French Open and 2008 Australian Open filist) to reach the semi-fils round.
She stunned world No. 1 and 21-time Grand Slam champion, Sere Williams in the semis before beating Halep (2014 French Open filist) to clinch in the title.
“I didn’t know before that I beat like six Grand Slam filists in a row. It’s amazing,” said Bencic. “I have no words for this, and definitely talk about a tough draw.”
The victory makes Bencic the fourth player in Rogers Cup history to win in their debut and fourth player without a seed.
The tourment victory also continues her impressive streak of 21-3 since losing in the French Open two months prior, including two wins and one runner-up finish.
Currently ranked No. 20 in WTA rankings, Bencic will ascend to No. 12 after the 900 points earned in Toronto, her highest ranking to date.
“12? No way. Wow. I didn’t know it,” said Bencic in amazement upon learning of her new ranking. “That’s pretty impressive. I cannot believe it.”
The youngster is still amazed at her journey since the start of 2014 when she was ranked No. 186 before finishing the year at No.33.
Bencic hopes to continue her success and move into the top 10 before the US Open in September. IANS