Kooyong crown goes to Bencic, despite weather glitch

Posted on January 12, 2018

Belinda Bencic overcame a one-set deficit and a rain delay early in the second to defeat Andrea Petkovic in a closely fought women’s final that concluded the 2018 Priceline Pharmacy Kooyong Classic on Friday.

 The contest saw two official rain delays and finished with Bencic holding the trophy after two very different sets, the first which was taken by former world No. 9 Petkovic from Germany.

 However, the 20-year-old Swiss raced to a 4-1 lead in the ten-point tie break and was able to close out the match before taking on No. 5 seed Venus Williams from the United States next week at Melbourne Park.

 “It was a lot of energy, we had to warm up a few times,” Bencic said.

 “That’s tennis but it was definitely better than hitting somewhere indoors so we managed to make it through and we were chatting, it was a fun day.”

 The former world No. 7, who made the fourth round of the Australian Open two years ago, is in very good form after recently winning the Hopman Cup with teammate and world No. 2 Roger Federer.

 “I’ve played a lot of matches and have my confidence back (these last six months)… oh, I love the club (Kooyong) I think it’s so beautiful and I love that you have grass courts,” Bencic added.

 “It’s just great that the people came out, it’s a good place and I’d love to be back.”

 The afternoon brought about a range of emotions from Petkovic who danced away to the music coming from the stands while the second rain delay was being decided on by the umpire early in the second set.

 Later in the match the 30-year-old played with obvious frustration, throwing her racket into the ground a few times after conceding points during the deciding ten-point tiebreaker.

 “I played well considering everything that was going on,” Petkovic said.

 “In the end I wasn’t even annoyed by my play I was just annoyed by the whole thing because I think it could have been so great, it was just unfortunate.”

 The 30-year-old has won six WTA singles titles and is intent on adding to that number after recently rejuvenating her career with a modified training schedule after a run of serious injuries.

 Earlier in the week Petkovic defeated Australian teenager Destanee Aiava in the opening match of the tournament on Tuesday and now feels prepared to face two-time Wimbledon champion Petra Kvitova in the first round of the Australian Open.

 “I’m playing well and today was a great test against Belinda because she’s been playing tremendously well the last couple of months, but I really liked the preparation here,” she added.

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