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Bencic beats Kostyuk to advance to Abu Dhabi quarter-finals

Bencic beats Kostyuk to advance to Abu Dhabi quarter-finals

Swiss No. 2 seed Belinda Bencic beat Ukraine’s Marta Kostyuk 6-4, 7-5 at the Mubadala Abu Dhabi Open on Wednesday for her second quadruple of the season. A spot in the quarter-finals.

World No. 9 Bencic came back from a 5-3 deficit in the second set to defeat No. 57 Kostyuk in straight sets after one hour and 35 minutes. Bencic is 2-0 against Kostyuk and he also beat the Ukrainian in Miami last year.

“I thought it was going to be tough against Marta,” Bencic said after her first match of the week, following her first-round bye. “I’m happy with how everything is going, maybe there are things I can improve on, but it’s always good to be number one. [win]”

More on Wednesday in Abu Dhabi: Zheng Qinwen upsets Ostapenko

Bencic is 9-2 so far this year, including Her seventh career singles title at Adelaide International 2 in January. Her only two losses this season have been to world No. 1 Iga Swiatek in the Fed Cup and eventual champion Sabalenka in the Australian Open round of 16.

Kostyuk is also having a strong season as she seeks her third quarter-final spot in the 2023 tour. But the Ukrainian couldn’t hold on to her second-set lead and she is now 0-12 against a top-10 career opponent (0-3 this year).

Bencic served brilliantly in the first set, never hitting a break point and winning 94 percent of her first serves. However, after Bencic led 2-0 in the second set, Kostyuk won five in a row in the next six games and suddenly served to enter the second set with a score of 5-3.

But Bencic broke serve immediately, and she took a forehand winner to break Kostyuk again, leading 6-5. Bencic sealed the victory with an irretrievable serve in the next game, winning the last four.

Bencic’s quarter-final opponent will be American qualifier Shelby Rodgers. World No. 46 Rodgers advanced to the first four of the year after falling behind seventh seed Annette Kontavit of Estonia 4-6, 6-3, 4-1 in the second round. quarter final.

After dropping the second set and trailing 3-0 in the third, Kontaveit received a medical timeout. The Estonian played two more games before calling it a day due to a low back injury.

Like Bencic, Rodgers’ Australian Open title was ended by eventual champion Sabalenka, who won the second round in Melbourne.

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