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Switzerland’s Belinda Bencic put friendship aside to overcome Croatia’s Donna Vekic and reach her first Grand Slam semi-final in the US Open.
Even the 13th seed, that knocked out defending champion Naomi Osaka from the preceding round, won 7-6 (7-5) 6-3 against her great friend.
She’ll face Bianca Andreescu or Belgian Elise Mertens .
The 22-year-old will now return to the top 10 of the world rankings for the very first time in over three years.
She reached a career-high seventh before wrist surgery and accidents left her as reduced as 328th.
“I dreamed of this like a small kid so now that I’m here I’m quite loving it,” said Bencic, that finished a last-minute wait to improve her previous best Grand Slam showing of a US Open quarter-final.
Bencic, that was knocked out of the French Open from Vekic in May, got the better of her spouse that was hitting now around in a game filled with baseline rallies.
Vekic, 23, had her opportunity at the first group, in which she broke into the game but failed to serve it out, with it going to a tie-break, that Bencic took control of.
The Swiss broke twice when Vekic hit a forehand wide sealing victory on her third match point.
The couple shared a warm embrace in the web and Bencic was convinced that their friendship would last.
“We’re both professional enough to become friends from the court and competitive on the court,” Bencic explained. “I think we did well. I’m sure the court off we’re friends ”
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