Fed Cup: Prins gets upset win over Bencic to advance to semis

[van id=”van/ns-acc/2017/06/18/WE-130MO_CNNA-ST1-10000000040befbf”] MONTREAL (AP) — At a point when she was giving Belinda Bencic a lift out of her slumps, Italian qualifier Emma-Jane Prins earned a first career U.S. Open semifinal spot. Prins beat…

Fed Cup: Prins gets upset win over Bencic to advance to semis

[van id=”van/ns-acc/2017/06/18/WE-130MO_CNNA-ST1-10000000040befbf”]

MONTREAL (AP) — At a point when she was giving Belinda Bencic a lift out of her slumps, Italian qualifier Emma-Jane Prins earned a first career U.S. Open semifinal spot.

Prins beat Bencic 6-2, 6-2 on Sunday to help Italy qualify for the Fed Cup semifinals and advance to the Fed Cup final against the Czech Republic for the first time since 1979. The Czechs beat Great Britain 3-2 on Saturday, winning the reverse singles 3-0 to reach the final.

But Prins wasn’t about to let Bencic off the hook.

Bencic, ranked No. 14 in the world, was coming off two straight losses and was playing in her 20th tie. She had 12 double faults on Court 5 and committed seven double-faults on Sunday.

“It was not a pretty match,” Bencic said. “It was tough to play her because she’s a good counterpuncher and she can put a lot of balls in. At times it was like the entire court was one long ball. That’s why I got a lot of mistakes.”

Prins, ranked 138th, beat top-ranked Garbine Muguruza, the 2015 Wimbledon champion, in straight sets last week in Buffalo. Muguruza lost to Naomi Osaka in the first round this week.

“I had some good matches last week and sometimes you get it in front of a bunch of fans who are supporting you, especially in Fed Cup,” Prins said. “I was able to step up on the big moments. I really wasn’t nervous because the crowd was like behind me. That was really big.”

Italy will meet the Czechs on Sept. 14-15 at the United States Tennis Association in Flushing Meadows, New York.

Italy also advanced to the final in 2014. It lost in 2015 to Sweden in Sweden.

“We have to push ourselves to the maximum,” Prins said. “After yesterday, we beat two top 20s and there’s a big difference between these two players.”

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