Jabeur beats Bencic to win Charleston title

Charleston (Agencies): World number five Ons Jabeur claimed her first title of the season with victory over Belinda Bencic at the Charleston Open.

Tunisia’s Jabeur, runner-up at Wimbledon and the US Open in 2022, beat the Swiss 7-6 (8-6) 6-4.

Defending champion Bencic played two matches on Sunday, completing a rain-interrupted semi-final against Jessica Pegula before facing Jabeur.

It is Jabeur’s fourth WTA title and second on clay. Jabeur has had a difficult start to the season and struggled with injury following her second-round Australian Open exit in January.

However, she fought back from a break down in the first set against Bencic before holding her nerve in the second to secure the title. She has now won 37 clay-court matches since the start of the 2020 season – the most of any player on the WTA Tour during that time.

Elsewhere, world number five Casper Ruud beat Miomir Kecmanovic to win the Estoril Open and claim his first title of the year.

The world number five won five straight games in the first set before Serb Kecmanovic, ranked 40th in the world, took Ruud to a tie-break in the second. But the 24-year-old Norwegian held on to win 6-1 7-6 (7-3) in Portugal and halt his poor start to the year.

Before this week, last year’s French Open and US Open runner-up had won just five of his 11 games in 2023. However, Ruud’s 10th career title will be enough to push him back up to fourth in the ATP rankings on Monday.