Quarterfinal Friday: Bencic rallies as Jabeur and Anisimova roll into semis

Quarterfinal Friday: Bencic rallies as Jabeur and Anisimova roll into semis

Belinda Bencic earned her first win over Paula Badosa in four attempts while both Ons Jabeur and Amanda Anisimova scored straight-sets victories. Ekaterina Alexandrova rounds out the semifinal line-up.

For the first time in eight years, Belinda Bencic is back in the Charleston semifinals.

The Olympic gold medalist rallied from a set and a break down against No. 2 seed Paula Badosa to win in two hours and 46 minutes, 2-6 7-6(2) 6-4. The Swiss No. 10 seed will meet an in-form Ekaterina Alexandrova on Saturday in the semifinals for a spot in the Credit One Charleston Open championship match.

No. 4 seed Ons Jabeur booked a place in the last four, as well, winning a third consecutive match with a 6-3 6-2 scoreline, beating Anhelina Kalinina in just 63 minutes. Jabeur, the Tunisian star ranked No. 10 in the world, made the semifinals here a year ago and is looking for the biggest title of her career having won her first at Birmingham in 2021.

American Amanda Anisimova advanced in the fourth and final quarterfinal of the day, beating compatriot Coco Vandeweghe 6-1 6-2 to earn her semifinal spot. It’s the first time Anisimova has been as far at an American event on the WTA Tour.

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Ons Jabeur (TUN) in action. (Photo by Alice Keeney/Charleston Open)

Bencic: Back into semifinals eight years later

Earlier in the week, Bencic was just three points away from elimination in the first round against Wang Xiyu of China. She now looks to advance to the 14th final of her career and go for singles title No. 6.

Bencic had wins over teenager Linda Fruhvirtova and American Madison Keys before her come-from-behind triumph over Badosa to earn her way into the final four.

It’s her second consecutive semi having made the same round in Miami two weeks ago.

It also marked her first win over Badosa in four tries, and avenges a loss to the Spaniard at this very event a year ago.

“It was very tough and I felt very uncomfortable for the first set and a half,” Bencic said on Tennis Channel. “I was trying to hang on in my service games. I needed to get into my game a little bit more. I thought I was already in the locker room at 2-6 2-4. It’s tough to play her especially on clay. I felt like every time (we played previously) I got closer. So I wasn’t scared going into the match.”

She previously made the last four in Charleston in 2014, when she was just 17 years old and a qualifier ranked No. 140 in the world.

Alexandrova ‘feeling better’ on clay

Alexandrova won 6-0 6-2 over Magda Linette in just 62 minutes, advancing to what is her first career semifinal on clay.

“Before this tournament it was my least favorite” surface, Alexandrova said of clay on Tennis Channel. “It’s always been slippery to me and tough to move on. But now I’m feeling better on it.”

She and Bencic have split their previous four meetings, though Alexandrova won their only meeting on clay at Stuttgart in 2021.

“She’s always tough,” Alexandrova said of Bencic, adding: “I came here with no expectations. So I am going out there and trying to enjoy my tennis.”

Amanda Anisimova ANHELINA KALININA Belinda Bencic Charleston Coco Vandeweghe EKATERINA ALEXANDROVA MAGDA LINETTE Ons Jabeur PAULA BADOSA