Belinda Bencic made history Saturday in Tokyo becoming the first woman from Switzerland to win Olympic gold following a tough 7-5, 2-6, 6-3 2.5 hour win over Marketa Vondrousova of the Czech Republic.
Bencic came from a break down in the third and won the last three games to win her 6th and biggest title of her career.
“For me,” Bencic said, “it’s not `this tournament,’ it’s the freaking Olympic Games.
“This is the biggest thing ever for an athlete, so I cannot believe I have two medals and one of them is gold, and one of them is to be decided.”
The tight tussle saw Bencic make a few less errors and in the third Vondrousova won just 2 of 13 points on second serve.
Bencic joins Roger Federer and Stan Wawrinka along with Marc Rosset as Swiss players to win gold.
The 22-year-old Vondrousova doesn’t leave empty handed. She gives the Czech republic its first silver medal and en route to her first final since the 2019 French Open, she upended Naomi Osaka and Elina Svitolina, both in straight sets.
Bencic is back on court Sunday to face more Czechs. She and Victorija Golubic will face the No. 1 seeded team of Barbora Krejcikova and Katerina Siniakova for the women’s doubles gold.
Venus (2000) and Serena (2012) are the only women to sweep singles and doubles since tennis returned to the Olympics in 1988.
In the bronze medal match, Elina Svitolina rallied from 3-0 down in the third set to deny Elena Rybakina 1-6, 7-6(5), 6-4. It was the Ukraine’s first medal in Olympic tennis.
“Coming here, for sure my goal was to win a gold medal, and it was extremely tough to lose in the semi-finals and then try to regroup and come again against a top player who is playing really good,” Svitolina said.
“To win such a big battle for the bronze medal definitely means the world to me. Everyone in Ukraine is watching, we don’t win so many medals, you know ,so for sure, it’s very special for me and for Ukraine.”
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