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Victory for Belinda Bencic in girls' singles final

A forehand by Belinda Bencic.
by Benjamin Snyder
Saturday 6 July 2013

The No. 1 seed Belinda Bencic of Switzerland won her second consecutive major title when she defeated American Taylor Townsend 4-6, 6-1, 6-4 to win the girls' singles final.

With this victory, Bencic, the doubles runner-up at the All England Club last year and recent Roland Garros winner recorded her third win against Townsend this year. She defeated the American in the Roland Garros quarter-final and weeks later on grass at the AEGON Junior International event.

At first it appeared as if the American would run away with the title. In the first set, Townsend raced to a 4-0 lead through a combination of biting volley winners and errors off Bencic’s racket.

Trailing heavily to the American, Bencic started to find some form. She finally won her first  game as the American hit three consecutive errors.

Townsend then went into a 4-1 lead and then followed a game that went to nine deuces. Fending off eight break chances, Townsend eventually prevailed and took a 5-1 lead. But Bencic wouldn’t go away and she won three games in a row and also saved three set points.

Serving for the first set for the second time, Townsend faced two more break point chances, which she erased with forehand winners. An unreturned serve finally brought her the set after 58 minutes and she looked set for a routine win.

At the start the second set, Bencic fended off two break points, first with an ace and then off an error from the American. She then raced to 3-0 lead with some fine passing shots and with some gifts from her opponent.

Although Townsend held serve with a couple forehand winners, Bencic dismissed the American’s challenge on her own serve by saving two break points and then opening a 4-1 lead. She broke Townsend’s serve again to give her a chance to serve for the second set and a backhand winner down the line did the job. 

In the third set, both players had early chances to break but a loose game with Benic at 1-2 down resulted in the early opportunity for the American, who struck a clean cross-court backhand winner to take a 3-1 lead.

Just as Townsend looked to be in control, Bencic broke back during a game of three deuces. She converted her third break point chance to get the set back on serve.  Bencic held to love, striking a forehand winner for 3-3. Hitting two aces, including one on game point, Townsend’s response was to hold easily for 4-3. Bencic continued the string of strong service games to hold, punctuated by an ace to take the set to 4-4.

In the next game, however, Townsend was the first to blink on her serve, hitting errors again and handing the game over to Bencic, the Swiss sealing it with a forehand winner off a high topspin shot from the American.

Serving for the match, the No.1 seed looked sharp. She struck an ace at 107 mph for 15-0, an error from Townsend that lofted long gave her 30-0 while another big serve earned her two championship points and a fist pump.

Her first attempt ended in a double fault. Despite the nerves, with her second opportunity she hit a backhand winner down the line to clinch victory.

 
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20:08It brings me no pleasure but it's time to bring the curtain down for another year. Seemed somehow appropriate to leave the last word to Roger Federer. Thanks a billion for reading. What a fortnight, what a final, fast forward to 2015 please...

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