Dubai victory stuns Bencic

24 February 2019 03:58:25 EST

Belinda Bencic was lost for words after getting the better of the number two seed Petra Kvitova in the final of the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships.

The unseeded world number 45 had not won a tournament since her victory at the Rogers Cup in Toronto in 2015 but edged a fluctuating encounter against the Czech player 6-3 1-6 6-2.

Bencic has struggled with injuries since her success in Canada, including having to endure wrist surgery, but hopes her victory in Dubai will be the start of a good run for her.

"It's unbelievable. It's incredible. I mean, I still cannot believe it," Bencic said after the match. "After two rounds, we were already saying, 'Wow, this is a great tournament.' Now it's only a bonus.

"Then I won against [Aryna] Sabalenka after being out already. We said the same thing again. Really, the expectations after two rounds were not there anymore. So many times I was close to defeat. It's unbelievable that I ended up winning this."

As well as knocking Sabalenka out of the tournament, Bencic also beat Simona Halep and Elina Svitolina in Dubai.

The Swiss player added: "Of course they are very high-quality players, all of them. I'm so happy about the consistency that I could back up my wins. After playing a tough match, I could mentally win another one. It's very difficult."

Bencic is set to move up to 23 in the world rankings following her Dubai triumph.

She is 33/1 to win the French Open later this year, while Halep can be backed at 5/1 and Svitolina at 10/1.

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