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Belinda Bencic, Marketa Vondrousova reach gold-medal match

Jul 24, 2021; Tokyo, Japan; Belinda Bencic of Switzerland celebrates after match point against Jessica Pegula of the United States (not pictured) in a first round women's singles match during the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Summer Games at Ariake Tennis Park. Mandatory Credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Network
Jul 24, 2021; Tokyo, Japan; Belinda Bencic of Switzerland celebrates after match point against Jessica Pegula of the United States (not pictured) in a first round women’s singles match during the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Summer Games at Ariake Tennis Park. Mandatory Credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Network

Switzerland’s Belinda Bencic and the Czech Republic’s Marketa Vondrousova will battle for the singles gold medal on Saturday at the Tokyo Olympics.

Bencic, the No. 9 seed, defeated No. 15 Elena Rybakina 7-6 (2), 4-6, 6-3 of Kazakhstan and unseeded Vondrousova crushed No. 4 Elina Svitolina of Ukraine 6-3, 6-1 in Thursday’s semifinals at Ariake Tennis Park.

Bencic, 24, looks to win Switzerland’s first singles gold since Marc Rosset won the men’s competition at Barcelona in 1992.

She needed two hours and 44 minutes to close out Rybakina, who struck 14 aces and 45 winners. Bencic saved 10 of 16 break points and broke Rybakina’s serve three straight times in the deciding set.

Vondrousova, 22, has an opportunity to win her country’s first women’s Olympics singles title. Jana Novotna (1996) and Petra Kvitova (2016) both won bronze medals.

Vondrousova converted five of her seven break chances against Svitolina, who finished with just 13 winners and 29 unforced errors.

–Field Level Media