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Switzerland’s Belinda Bencic wins gold in women’s singles

Jul 29, 2021; Tokyo, Japan; Belinda Bencic of Switzerland celebrates after match point against Elena Rybakina of Kazakhstan (not pictured) in a women's singles semifinal during the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Summer Games at Ariake Tennis Park. Mandatory Credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports
Jul 29, 2021; Tokyo, Japan; Belinda Bencic of Switzerland celebrates after match point against Elena Rybakina of Kazakhstan (not pictured) in a women’s singles semifinal during the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Summer Games at Ariake Tennis Park. Mandatory Credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

Belinda Bencic became the first Swiss woman to win an Olympic gold medal in singles tennis when she defeated unseeded Marketa Vondrousova 7-5, 2-6, 6-3 on Saturday in Tokyo.

The match between No. 9 seed Bencic and Vondrousova, of the Czech Republic, was much closer that the final score indicated. Bencic tallied 107 total points to 101 for her opponent. The difference in the match, which lasted two hours and 30 minutes, was Bencic’s ability to convert six of 10 break opportunities and hold serve on 12 of the whopping 18 break chances Vondrousova had.

In the bronze-medal match, Elina Svitolina of Ukraine rallied from three games down in the final set to defeat Kazakhstan’s Elena Rybakina 1-6, 7-6 (5), 6-4 to win her country’s first Olympic tennis medal.

Tied after two sets, Rybakina took a 4-1 lead in the third, but Svitolina won five straight games for the victory.

“To win such a big battle for the bronze medal definitely means the world to me,” Svitolina said, per ITFTennis.com. “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.”

–Field Level Media