Liudmila Samsonova set up a final clash against fifth seed Belinda Bencic at the Bett1 Open.
The Russian upset seventh seed Victoria Azarenka 6-4, 6-2 in just 66 minutes in their semi-final on Saturday. This is the WTA final of Samsonova’s career. She came up with 24 aces and had just six unforced errors against the former world no. 1. Samsonova broke Azarenka thrice in the match and saved all three break points she faced en route to her victory.
Post-match, the elated 22-year-old shared, “It’s all incredible for me, it’s so new, and I’m very happy for it. It’s unbelievable for me.”
Bett1 Open: Liudmila Samsonova-Belinda Bencic to start rivalry
Meanwhile, in the other semi-final, Bencic struggled but got through Alize Cornet in straight set, 7-5, 6-4 in an hour and 47 minutes. The Swiss hit 29 winners and had 19 unforced errors in the match.
This is Bencic’s second final this year. Earlier, in February, she’d reached the final of the Adelaide International (lost to Iga Swiatek). Her final in Berlin is also the fourth time in her career, the 24-year-old has reached finals on grass.
Speaking after her victory, Bencic said, “Of course it gives me a lot of confidence. It’s always great to have this confirmation on grass that it’s working well.” She added, “I always try to play as many tournaments on grass as possible because I just love the surface.”
The Bett1 Open final between Liudmila Samsonova and Belinda Bencic will be the first meeting between the two. Looking forward to the clash, Samsonova said in her presser, “I’m sure it’s going to be a tough match because (Bencic) plays very good on this surface, and she’s a good player. I will try to do my best and focus on my game, and we will see.”