Bencic ends Halep's Dubai dreams
Comeback queen Belinda Bencic delivered more drama at the Dubai Tennis Championships as she overcame Simona Halep in three sets to reach the semi-finals.
Bencic saved six match points in her thrilling win over Aryna Sabalenka to set up her last-eight showdown with world number two Halep.
And the Swiss again did things the hard way on Thursday, coming from behind to triumph 4-6 6-4 6-2.
The contest looked to be going to the form book when Doha finalist Halep – who had not dropped a set this week – took the opening set despite dropping serve in the very first game.
Indeed, Halep made life more difficult for herself by failing to serve it out at 5-3, instead wrapping up the set with a break in the next game.
The start of the second set followed that theme – Halep dropping serve only to immediately hit back.
But momentum shifted decisively in Bencic's favour as she went on the offensive to break for a 5-4 lead and then held to 15 to level matters.
Remarkably, Halep lost her serve in the opening game of a third set in which she trailed 3-0 before a break to love stopped the rot.
Bencic survived three break points when serving for the match as the world number 45 moved a step closer to a third WTA Tour title.