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Belinda Bencic, Olympic gold for Switzerland in Tokyo

Belinda Bencic he can already boast of a gold medal. It is the greatest triumph in the sports career of the Swiss tennis player, who rose to glory in these Tokyo Olympics 2021 after beating in a match full of emotions Marketa Vondrousova (7-5, 2-6, 6-3). With the high and low characteristics of a duel for the title, Belinda’s stability and regularity, in addition to her greater precision in the important moments of a third set full of dynamic changes, were much more decisive than the great sparks of the Czech .

First set

The fight for the gold medal began with both tennis players feeling, in a way, the terrain. The beginning of the duel was defined by a succession of breaks that indicated the nervousness and the magnitude of the company that both had ahead. Little by little, however, that nervousness was transformed into what we all expected from the beginning: a fierce fight between two players on irregular occasions, but who are completing two of the best weeks of their sports careers.

The advantage that Bencic’s cross backhand could generate was somewhat offset by the variety and precision of Vondrousova’s left-handed right hand. The Czech woman also had the same problem, whose angles and height changes to the reverse of her rival were not so sharp against the Swiss, capable of defending herself like a cat upside down. Thus, the little dominance of the serves gave way to a large number of exchanges from the bottom where the differential element was a clear one: the parallels.

Both the parallel backhand of the Swiss and the parallel right of the Czech became highly coveted weapons to launch at the exact moment to tilt each point. Both left samples of their quality by launching these blows and increasing aggressiveness, which led to no breaks from 3-3 and the serve began to dominate the set. Whoever took a step forward, took it … and that was Belinda Bencic, who took advantage of the insane pressure that the server supports with 5-6, opened a gap in Marketa’s serve and took advantage of it wonderfully to close the game. first partial.

Second set

The second set had a totally different script from the first set. The manifest equality gave way to a clear dominance of the Czech tennis player, for one main reason: she was much more aggressive and did it consistently, failing little and taking control of exchanges. Vondrousova was also much better on serve, who began to roam freely on the Ariake Coloseum court, provided with confidence and a positive dynamic that, little by little, tilted the final in her favor.

Bencic got smaller and began to look for various adjustments to defend himself against the bombs of the Czech tennis player, but little by little he realized that the second set had only one owner. It was the task of the Swiss, from now on, to find a way to return to equality and melee from the bottom in the third set. Would I get it?

Third set

The truth is that the last quarter showed that the pressure to win a gold medal is absolutely unmatched. Similar to that of a Grand Slam, practically: the dance of breaks returned, the sudden changes in dynamics after a player chained a couple of misses. Bencic and Vondrousova were irregular and made it clear that the medal would be won with the head and not with tennis: whoever failed the least, who was more tempered in the important moments, would be the one who would rise as the winner.

It was the Swiss who took the first big lead, recovering from Vondrousova’s initial break thanks, in part, to a couple of well executed drops by Marketa. She did not abuse them for much of the game and they returned to make an appearance at the most important moment: however, going below the scoreboard again freed the Czech, who took the bull by the horns and constantly attacked the serve of Bencic to restore equality.

With 4-3 in her favor, but without any break, the Swiss requested a medical time for what looked like blisters on her feet. This break seemed to cut off the rhythm of Vondrousova, who after five minutes sitting in the chair signed a horrible game on serve. It was now Belinda who served to get the gold medal, and saved two break balls in what seemed like the final baptism; Earlier, Vondrousova dropped the ropes again to save a match ball, but she couldn’t take her chance and it was Bencic who ended up closing the match (7-5, 2-6, 6-3).

Tears in the eyes, collapse to the ground and a greeting between two tennis players who wore a smile. The WTA camaraderie returned to make an appearance, although today the player who behaved like a true veteran won. Bencic’s regularity and stability were more convincing arguments for gold than the very high peaks, but also lows of a Vondrousova that, yes, there is little to blame for: it entered Tokyo with a protected ranking, without any confidence, and left Asia with a silver medal hanging on the chest. Bencic, Vondrousova and Svitolina. If anyone could have guessed this podium, please give me the numbers for the next lottery. This is the WTA, this is tennis.

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