Bencic stuns Halep in Dubai quarters

(AP Photo/Kamran Jebreili)

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP) 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."

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2019 ATP Rankings
Rank Player Points
1 N. Djokovic 10,955
2 R. Nadal 8,320
3 A. Zverev 6,475
4 J. Del Potro 5,060
5 K. Anderson 4,595
6 K. Nishikori 4,190
7 R. Federer 4,100
8 D. Thiem 3,800
9 J. Isner 3,225
10 M. Cilic 3,140
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2019 WTA Rankings
Rank Player Points
1 N. Osaka 6,970
2 S. Halep 5,537
3 S. Stephens 5,307
4 P. Kvitova 5,120
5 K. Pliskova 5,055
6 E. Svitolina 5,020
7 A. Kerber 4,960
8 K. Bertens 4,885
9 A. Sabalenka 3,565
10 S. Williams 3,406
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