For the first time in six years, the women’s singles final of the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships enjoyed the drama of a third set.
It was Petra Kvitova that had won the last Dubai three-set women’s singles final in 2013.
But on a glorious Saturday evening, it was the unseeded Swiss Belinda Bencic that became the newest Dubai champion, winning what was only the second three-set final of the award-winning tournament in the last 10 years.
With a 6-3, 1-6, 6-2 victory in the final over Kvitova, Bencic, the world number 45, has put her career back on track following battles with poor form and injuries.
Having saved six match points in her third round win over eighth seed Aryna Sabalenka, Bencic ended sixth seed Elina Svitolina’s hopes of becoming the first woman to win three-straight Dubai titles with another three-set win in the semifinal.