No.1 seed Ons Jabeur picked up her third career title on Sunday, taking the bett1open trophy after No.8 seed Belinda Bencic had to retire due to injury in the championship match.
Bencic suffered an ankle injury in the final game of the opening set, and though the Swiss player continued for three more games, she stopped the match while trailing 6-3, 2-1.
Although the circumstances were unfortunate, Tunisia's Jabeur now becomes the only player other than World No.1 Iga Swiatek and this week's Birmingham champion Beatriz Haddad Maia to claim multiple titles this season. Jabeur won the WTA 1000 title in Madrid on clay last month.
An unfortunate end for @BelindaBencic who has been forced to retire due to injury ❤️🩹— wta (@WTA) June 19, 2022
Final match score 6-3, 2-1 ret. for Jabeur.#bett1open pic.twitter.com/VAHpmWAoOZ
Friends and rivals: Jabeur and Bencic had played three times before, all on clay, with Bencic leading the head-to-head 2-1 coming into Sunday.
The pair had already met twice this year: Bencic defeated Jabeur in the Charleston final, and Jabeur exacted revenge en route to her Madrid title.
Jabeur now has two grass-court titles to her credit: she became the first Arab woman to claim a singles title when she prevailed on the lawns of Birmingham last season. Jabeur has been even more prolific this year, as she has reached finals in four of her last six events.
Jabeur, currently ranked at a career-best World No.4, is now projected to rise to a new career-high ranking of World No.3 on Monday.
Kind words from Jabeur: The champion praised Bencic, as well as her team and the Tunisian supporters, in her speech during the trophy presentation:
Nothing but class (and a couple laughs 😜) from @Ons_Jabeur 💜#bett1open pic.twitter.com/QvhliLQcvG— wta (@WTA) June 19, 2022
Match moments: Behind fierce forehands, Jabeur raced to an initial 3-0 lead in the match, but Bencic got back on serve to pull to 4-3. Jabeur, though, played a stunning game to break again, firing deft lobs and consistently grazing the sideline to lead 5-3.
Bencic had four break points to get back on serve in the next game, but Jabeur fended each of them off. On the fourth deuce of that game, Bencic went over on her ankle while returning serve, and took an immediate medical time-out.
After Jabeur served out the first set, Bencic contested the first three games of the second set, but after being broken for 2-1, last year's Olympic gold medalist had to stop play.
Sportsmanship at its finest 💜@Ons_Jabeur steps in to help @BelindaBencic #bett1open pic.twitter.com/nsy4NoJi1P— wta (@WTA) June 19, 2022
"I think [Jabeur] really deserves this title and she's playing great tennis at the moment," Bencic said afterwards.
"I played maybe one match too much," Bencic continued. "Four heavy three-setters maybe didn't help my legs to be steady today. But I'm really happy with this tournament, I'm really happy with my level, and sometimes this happens. It's kind of for sure a bittersweet moment."
🏆 𝐃𝐨𝐩𝐩𝐞𝐥𝐜𝐡𝐚𝐦𝐩𝐢𝐨𝐧𝐬 🏆@stormsanders94 | @K_Siniakova pic.twitter.com/i44cfQD0fn— wta (@WTA) June 19, 2022
Doubles delight: No.1 seeds Storm Sanders and Katerina Siniakova took the bett1open doubles title on Sunday, defeating unseeded Alizé Cornet and Jil Teichmann 6-4, 6-3.
Sanders and Siniakova won 34 of their 40 service points (85 percent) to ease to victory in 1 hour and 10 minutes. For Australian Sanders, it marks her fourth career doubles title and second of the year.
Siniakova of the Czech Republic, who finished last year as WTA Doubles World No.1, is up to 17 career doubles titles, and she is 8-0 in her last eight doubles finals.