Belinda Bencic crowned women’s singles champion

14 January 2023, by Darren Parkin

Belinda Bencic has produced one of the most impressive performances of her career to record a dominant victory against Daria Kasatkina in today’s Adelaide International final.

The world No.13 will head to Australian Open 2023 full of confidence after claiming the title 6-0 6-2 at The Drive.

Bencic peeled off the first six points of the opening set, and 13 of the first 16, as she immediately seized control, racing to a 3-0 lead inside 10 minutes.

Kasatkina was able to lengthen the rallies from that point onwards, but she couldn’t stem the flow as her opponent powered her way through a 25-minute first set.

Bencic dropped only eight points for the entire set, striking 10 winners to two and claiming 75 per cent of points on Kasatkina’s first serve.

It is just the second time she’s won a 6-0 set in a final, the other being at Eastbourne back in 2015 against Agnieszka Radwanska.

The Tokyo 2020 Olympic gold medallist broke serve immediately to start the second set, as she continued on her merry way.

The 25-year-old Kasatkina finally got on the board in the third game of the second set, pumping her fist in determination as she sent an ace down on game point.

The world No.8 continued to battle her way back into the contest, but the level from Bencic never dropped, with another 15 second-set winners helping her close out victory.

It is the seventh career WTA title for Bencic, the first in Australia and the first career final she has won in straight sets.

It was also redemption having lost in the Adelaide International 2021 final to Iga Swiatek.

“I’m really happy to win this title. I came up short in a final here two years ago so I’m happy to come back and get this one,” she said post-match.

The 25-year-old from Switzerland has now won 10 of her past 11 matches and 18 of her last 21 sets, as she heads to Melbourne Park full of confidence ahead of a first-round meeting with Viktoriya Tomova of Bulgaria.

She will also return to the world’s top 10 for the first time since October 2021 when rankings are updated on Monday.

Kasatkina paid tribute to her opponent post-match, reflecting on their journey from juniors to the top ten.

“Congratulations to Belinda. She’s had a great week. I started playing against her in juniors and I hope it isn’t our last final,” she said after the match.

Kasatkina will take on fellow Russian Varvara Gracheva in the opening round of Australian Open 2023 on Tuesday.