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BELINDA BENCIC A WIN AWAY FROM TOP 10

2015-9-27


TOKYO, Japan - Belinda Bencic, one of the leading WTA Rising Stars, beat Caroline Wozniacki for the fourth time in a row in the Toray Pan Pacific Open semifinals on Saturday afternoon, and there's something very big at stake in the final - if she wins the title, she'll break the Top 10 for the first time.

Though Wozniacki was the higher seed, No.1 to No.8, Bencic may have been the favorite in this match-up, having won the pair's last three encounters - and that pattern continued this time too, as the Swiss' unique mix of aggression and consistency was just too good on the day, propelling her to a 6-2, 4-2 lead, then the two players going into a holding pattern until Bencic served the match out, 6-2, 6-4.

Both players' numbers on the day were excellent - Wozniacki finished with a +10 differential of winners to unforced errors, 25 to 15, while Bencic finished with a beefier +14 differential, 25 to 11.

But it was on the big points where the Swiss truly rose to the occasion, converting on four of her 10 break point opportunities in the match. Wozniacki, meanwhile, converted on just one of four chances.

"It's amazing to be in the final," Bencic said in her on-court interview after the match.

"The first time I played here was two years ago, and it was a huge tournament for me. It's really just beautiful here, so to make the final here is really exciting. I'm feeling very good right now."

How does a player beat Wozniacki, a former No.1 player in the world, four times in a row?

"Caroline's a great player," Bencic said. "If you give free points or aren't focused enough, she comes back and plays great shots and great tennis. So I knew I had to be focused well from start to finish today. And I was playing some very good games on my serve - I tried to not let her break me."

And her goals for the final? "I want to try to win the title now!" she said.
"But I've reached a better result than I ever thought. So I really want to enjoy the final."

Bencic is now an incredible 8-2 against Top 10 players in 2015, 10-6 lifetime, and if she does go on to win the title this week, she'll join the elite herself - Bencic would break the Top 10 on Monday.

Perhaps fittingly, the 18-year-old Swiss would become the first teenager to be in the Top 10 since Wozniacki herself (the Dane was already in the Top 10 when she turned 20 on July 11, 2010).

 



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