Jabeur, Bencic face off for Charleston title in back-to-back years
For the first time in Credit One Charleston Open history, we have a repeat final in back-to-back years.
Ons Jabeur, the 2022 runner-up, secured her spot in Sunday’s championship match on Saturday evening when the Tunisian world No. 5 denied 2017 champion Daria Kasatkina a trip back to the final with a 7-5 7-5 win.
Saturday’s incessant rain felled the Jessica Pegula vs. Belinda Bencic semi, however, which was in a second set tie-break when the inclement weather sent the pair off the court for the night, Bencic with a set in hand.
They resumed Sunday afternoon, with Bencic winning five out of six points played to claim the match – and keep her title defense alive – 7-5 7-6(5).
Jabeur has already made history: She’s the first player in a decade to make back-to-back finals, matching Serena Williams‘ feat from 2012-13.
With Bencic joining her in the final, it marks the first time in tournament history – dating back to 1973 – that the same two players faced off in consecutive finals.
Jabeur expressed satisfaction with her week in Charleston thus far, having been just 4-4 in 2023 and undergoing minor knee surgery in February.
“It feels amazing,” she told reporters. “I came here [and] just wanted to play matches, gain back the confidence. It’s not easy to come back after injuries, so I’m very happy.”
Jabeur is an even 2-2 with Bencic, though she’s claimed both of their meetings since Bencic beat her on this very day 52 weeks ago.
“In a final you never know what’s going to happen,” Jabeur added. “For me I’m just going to give everything tomorrow, more than 100 percent, and go for the title. I really want this.”
Bencic called her two-day semifinal “super weird,” but said she was delighted to be back into another final: “I prepared for the match, just to go for it and be active. I already had a set; I had nothing to lose,” she said of the Pegula finish.
“I’m really happy to be in the final.”
Ready for one final final? Play.
Playing for it all ☝️
For the first time in tournament history here in the Lowcountry we have a repeat final in consecutive years 🤩
Will Bencic defend her title or will Jabeur snag her first on the green clay?#CharlestonOpen pic.twitter.com/p3XdjREvDS
— Credit One Charleston Open (@CharlestonOpen) April 9, 2023
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