Bencic upsets Halep to reach Dubai semifinals; Kvitova wins

Ukraine's Elina Svitolina returns the ball to Spain's Carla Suarez Navarro during their quarterfinal match of the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championship in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, Thursday, Feb. 21, 2019. (AP Photo/Kamran Jebreili)
Romania's Simona Halep returns the ball to Switzerland's Belinda Bencic during their quarterfinal match of the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championship in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, Thursday, Feb. 21, 2019. (AP Photo/Kamran Jebreili)
Switzerland's Belinda Bencic celebrates after defeating Romania's Simona Halep in their quarterfinal match of the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championship in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, Thursday, Feb. 21, 2019. (AP Photo/Kamran Jebreili)
Switzerland's Belinda Bencic celebrates after defeating Romania's Simona Halep in their quarterfinal match of the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championship in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, Thursday, Feb. 21, 2019. (AP Photo/Kamran Jebreili)

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates — Unseeded Belinda Bencic rallied to beat second-ranked Simona Halep 4-6, 6-4, 6-2 Thursday to reach the Dubai Championships semifinals.

Bencic, who saved six match points in the previous round against Aryna Sabalenka, failed to capitalize on an early break in the first set but Halep continued to struggle with her serve and was broken seven times in total. Bencic broke for a 5-4 lead in the second and then raced out to a 3-0 lead in the decider, having won six games in a row. Halep, who was playing her ninth match in 13 days after reaching the final in Qatar last week, got one break back but Bencic broke again for a 5-2 lead before converting her third match point.

"It was really difficult physically," Halep said. "I was tired. After the second set, I felt like I'm getting cramping a little bit. It's normal. I was sweating a lot. She played very well. In the end, she was a little bit stronger."

Second-seeded Petra Kvitova had no such problems, winning the last eight games to oust Viktoria Kuzmova 6-4, 6-0 to book her spot in the last four. Kvitova, the 2013 Dubai champion, needed just 62 minutes to wrap up the win. She will next face Su-wei Hsieh of Taiwan, who came from 5-1 down in the final set to beat fourth-seeded Karolina Pliskova 6-4, 1-6, 7-5. It was the latest upset for Hsieh, who ousted Wimbledon champion Angelique Kerber on Wednesday.

In the final quarterfinal, two-time defending champion Elina Svitolina of Ukraine defeated Carla Suarez Navarro of Spain 6-2, 6-3 to set up a meeting with Bencic. It's the fourth year in a row that Svitolina makes the semifinals in Dubai, although she had to come from a break down in each set to get past Suarez Navarro.

___

More AP tennis: https://apnews.com/apf-Tennis and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports

Must Read

Egypt police arrest more fans over soccer riot...

Feb 2, 2017

Egyptian lawyer: Police detain 37 soccer fans in Cairo after arresting 80 the previous day

Egypt high court upholds death sentence of 10 in...

Feb 20, 2017

Egypt's highest appeals court has upheld the death sentences against 10 people convicted over a...

Egypt has a new hero: Liverpool striker Mohammed...

Oct 9, 2017

Liverpool striker Mohammed Salah scored a pair of goals to send Egypt to the World Cup in Russia

Calls for exiled player to go to WCup stirs storm...

Oct 17, 2017

A social media campaign to persuade former star midfielder Mohamed Aboutrika to come out of...

Commercial dispute showcases Salah's star power...

Apr 30, 2018

A commercial dispute between Mohammed Salah and football authorities in his native Egypt has been...

About Us

Get all the up-to-date breaking news about politics, business, entertainment, sports, lifestyles, weather, traffic, and local news in a seamless digital environment only in Morning Dispatcher.

Subscribe Now!

Quick Links

HomePress