ROME, Italy – Amanda Anisimova broke her duck in the second round of the Internazionali BNL d’Italia with a tough fight 7-6 (4), 6-1 against 12th seed Belinda Bencic in 1 hour and 46 minutes.
The American lost in the second round in each of her previous three appearances in Rome, but cooled off in the midday heat and beat Bencic for the second time this year. Anisimova also won the second round of the Australian Open 6-2, 7-5.
The debutant in the final was guaranteed, as Benčić also suffered three previous defeats in the second round in Rome. In that round, Anisimova will face either 7th seed Danielle Collins or against 2020 champion without seed Simona Halep.
Match management: The narrowly contested 72-minute marathon of the first set proved crucial. Anisimova led in almost every phase, but Bencic always found her best form behind to prevent the 19-year-old from taking real control.
After Anisimova pushed through a total of seven doubles to build a 2-0 lead, Bencic brought her back to 2-2 in twice the time with focused tennis with the first shot. The Swiss also saved a break point by serving at 3-4, a set point by serving at 4-5 and a second set point at 5-6.
However, Benčić failed to score two of his break points at 5-5, and in the tiebreak that followed, she handed the initiative to Anisim with a double fault and a misjudgment of the service, which was called good. Anisimova, whose balls were occasionally breathtaking, took full advantage, reaching the third set ball with her biggest forehand of the day and sealing the fourth with the service winner.
32nd-ranked Anisimova finally managed to pull away from Bencic in the second set, keeping her game tight to keep the momentum going. Bencic, on the other hand, made wild unforced errors and added up six double faults.
A rush of winners in the middle of the set from champions Charleston to reclaim one of the breaks only slightly delayed Anisim’s win, and the teen ended up in great style with a forehand return winner.
Teichmann upset former champion Pliškova, Rybakina passed Davis
Madrid semifinalist Jil Teichmann continued her stellar form on the ground, recording her sixth career victory in the Top 10 6-2, 4-6, 6-4 over 6th seed Karolina Plišková in 2 hours and 40 minutes. The result means that Simona Halep and Iga Swiatek are the only former champions of Rome left in the draw. Pliskova won the title in 2019 and was the runner-up of Halep and Swiateka in 2020 and 2021.
It was the 29th Swiss’s second victory in as many meetings with Plišková, who also lost 6-2, 6-4 and reached her first WTA 1000 final in Cincinnati last year. Pliškova’s record since returning in March from an ankle fracture she suffered out of season falls to 2-6.
Elena Rybakina was another early winner on the third day. The Kazakh reached the third round of Rome for the second time in as many appearances with a loss to qualifier Lauren Davis 6-4, 6-3 in 1 hour and 34 minutes.
Rybakina found her lead in the break that the brave Davis solidified twice in the first set before finally closing it down. But after the 17th tennis player in the world appeared at the top of the fight of six doubles that she was supposed to hold in the first game of the second set, she gave her momentum to another break of the American serve and rolled to victory.