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Ninth seed Belinda Bencic became Switzerland's first female Olympic gold medallist in tennis with victory over Marketa Vondrousova to continue a dream week in Tokyo.
The 24-year-old battled to a 7-5, 2-6, 6-3 victory in a match that finished at 11.28pm to follow in the footsteps of Roger Federer and Stan Wawrinka, who won gold in men's doubles in 2008, and 1992 singles champion Marc Rosset.
Bencic dominated the junior game but has struggled with injury and this was her biggest moment on the senior stage.
She could yet make it double gold in another Swiss-Czech battle when she and Viktorija Golubic take on Barbora Krejcikova and Katerina Siniakova in the women's doubles final on Sunday.
Bencic and Vondrousova, who defeated Naomi Osaka in the third round, possess two of the most rounded games on the women's tour, and this was certainly not just a contest of baseline bashing.
Bencic edged a very tight first set but former French Open finalist Vondrousova, whose forehand has been devastating this week, hit back strongly and looked the favourite heading into the decider.
However, she could not find the required consistency, with Bencic breaking for 5-3 after taking a medical timeout for what appeared to be a blister and then holding her nerve to serve it out.
Elina Svitolina took bronze, securing a first tennis medal for Ukraine with a gutsy comeback to beat Kazakh Elena Rybakina.
Rybakina won the first set easily and led by a break in both the second and third sets but Svitolina, who celebrated her wedding to Frenchman Gael Monfils just days before travelling to Japan, won the final five games in a 1-6 7-6 (5) 6-4 triumph.
Svitolina, who is a top-10 stalwart but has never made a grand slam final, sobbed at the end, and she said: "It's an unbelievable feeling.
"Coming here for sure my goal was to win a gold medal. It was extremely tough to lose in the semi-final (against Vondrousova) and then to try to regroup and try to come again against a top player who's playing really good, and to win such a big battle for the bronze medal definitely means the world for me.
"For sure everyone in Ukraine is watching and we don't win very many medals so it's very special for me and for Ukraine. When I finally won that match point it was just an explosion of emotions."
Women's singles final: as it happened
It has been a marathon week or so for Bencic
Belinda Bencic’s gold medal run:
Four straight three-set wins to seal it. #Tokyo2020
— WTA Insider (@WTA_insider) July 31, 2021
And it's not over for Bencic
Tomorrow she could become women's doubles champion too! What an incredible result that would be for the young tennis star.
BENCIC IS OLYMPIC CHAMPION!!! Bencic 7-5 2-6 6-3 Vondrousova
She has done it! But it wasn't easy.
Vondrousova's backhand down the line, helped by her brilliant return, gets her 0-15 up. But then she sends her next return long. The next point looked like she'd sent her forehand wide, but Bencic kept playing and the Swiss eventually loses the point. Bencic is fuming at the umpire, "It was 100 per cent out," she complains. But she has to move on, and Vondrousova wins the next point to go 15-40 up. Two break-back points.
Bencic saves the first with a backhand right on the baseline. Then Vondrousova's high bouncing drop shot is eaten up by the Swiss, who hits a winner down the line. Two break points saved - deuce.
Vondrousova hits her return into the net and it's championship point to Bencic.
But Vondrousova's return is gorgeous, and Bencic can't recover the point. Second deuce.
Bencic has taken the pace off her serve again, and Vondrousova capitalises as the Swiss becomes a little bit passive. Break point Vondrousova.
The Czech hits her next shot into the net though and we're back on deuce for the third time. This was never going to be easy was it? Bencic's second serve was so weak again, but she stays in the point and Vondrousova hits another shot into the net.
Second gold medal point to Bencic. Vondrousova hits her return long, and Bencic drops to the court - what a win! She is the Olympic gold medallist, this is the biggest moment of the 24-year-old's career. Vondrousova comes over for a big hug, and it's smiles all around for both players who are Olympic medallists.
Bencic 7-5 2-6 *5-3 Vondrousova
That plaster really did the trick, Bencic comes out firing and aggressive and goes 0-30 up on Vondrousova's serve.
Then Vondrousova's shot goes wide. Three break points. Bencic's return is great, and Vondrousova has to kneel to get to it. She sends the ball way long. Bencic breaks - and she has an opportunity to serve for the Olympic gold medal. Wow.
We're back on
Bencic's big toe is all patched up.
The trainer is out with Bencic
Looks like it might be a blister that's bothering her.
Bencic 7-5 2-6 4-3* Vondrousova
Bencic looking like she was going to hold her nerve too, leading 40-15. But there isn't a lot of urgency from her. Vondrousova can sense it. She hits a forehand down the line to creep back to 40-30, and then Bencic's error brings them to deuce. Bencic hits another shot long, and from nowhere Vondrousova has a break point.
Bencic comes alive though. She's thinking, No, not this time. And she takes a more aggressive approach - dropping the caution out of her game. Deuce. Then she hits an unreturned serve. Advantage Bencic. Vondrousova's backhand goes wide and Bencic holds. Those were scary moments.
Bencic 7-5 2-6 *3-3 Vondrousova
Bencic challenged, getting to 30-30 but Vondrousova's strong serve and then chasing down Bencic's average drop shot ensures she holds. 3-3 in this deciding set.
Bencic 7-5 2-6 3-2* Vondrousova
Ok this is ridiculous now. Vondrousova is 0-40 up and free swinging. There's something about trailing that suits both of these players!
Bencic saves the first to break points with good serves. But then her backhand goes wide. We're back on serve. Again!
Bencic 7-5 2-6 *3-1 Vondrousova
Three break points to Bencic. Genuinely struggling to keep up with the swings and changes in momentum this match has seen. 15 minutes ago Bencic was a break down and Vondrousova was playing at a top level, looking unstoppable. Now it's the opposite. Vondrousova hands her the break with a double fault.
Can Bencic charge to victory?
Bencic 7-5 2-6 2-1* Vondrousova
Bencic with a really important hold of serve here, and she edges herself in front in this deciding set.
Bencic 7-5 2-6 *1-1 Vondrousova
Bencic cannot hit the ball past Vondrousova at the moment. The Czech is defending every single point, as Bencic's team urge her from the stands to simply "Hit it!" She starts doing just that and, from it looking like Vondrousova was going to cruise to a hold, Bencic has a break point.
Vondrousova hits a body serve at her to save it, and we're at deuce. Bencic starts to dictate the points, and doesn't want to let Vondrousova out of this game - hitting a charging volley when Vondrousova was at advantage. Then she goes up break point again, thanks to a good drop shot, but can't convert - hitting her forehand into the net.
Vondrousova hits a timely ace next, and looks like she could be on her way out of the game after defending Bencic's attack next, but hits her backhand long. Deuce again. Her drop shot comes up short next, and Bencic has a third break point.
Vondrousova tries the drop shot again, but Bencic is wise to it and smashes her backhand down the line. We're back on serve and it's a sudden shift in momentum - again.
Bencic 7-5 2-6 0-1* Vondrousova
Vondrousova immediately has two break points. She has steadily and consistently turned this match around, and a drive volley gets her to break point. Her next shot goes long, but then she forces the error from Bencic who hits a forehand into the net. Vondrousova screams come on. She has the upper hand in this.
VONDROUSOVA WINS THE SECOND SET! Bencic 7-5 2-6 Vondrousova
Vondrousova's serve sets up two set points. Then her serve is unreturned by Bencic. The Swiss challenges, she thught that serve was out. But it wasn't, it was way in. Vondrousova pushes this to a decider.
Bencic 7-5 2-5* Vondrousova
Bencic isn't giving up, but she surely must be thinking she will just conserve energy for the third set, rather than launch a comeback - especially in these humid and hot conditions.
She holds but this is a matter of time.
Bencic 7-5 *1-5 Vondrousova
Vondrousova with another hold, and she is one game away from taking this match all the way.
She has stepped up, and it's a brilliant show of mentality from the 22-year-old. She's not letting up the pressure and wants that decider.
Bencic 7-5 1-4* Vondrousova
Vondrousova smiles, as she gets the double break. She sealed it with a lovely drop shot, caressing the ball over the net and it's too good for Bencic.
It's some turnaround after dropping the first set. Bencic might just have to battle this out in a third set at this stage.
Bencic 7-5 *1-3 Vondrousova
Vondrousova is playing well, and she holds her serve to keep her second set lead in tact.
Bencic 7-5 1-2* Vondrousova
Bencic gets herself on the scoreboard in this second set. That was a clean game.
Bencic 7-5 *0-2 Vondrousova
Vondrousova backs up the break to lead 2-0. She's still talking up to her team in the stands, looking frustrated about the conversations going on between Bencic and her team. Reminder, players are not allowed coaching during matches. Either way, Vondrousova is up.
Bencic 7-5 0-1* Vondrousova
Bencic is looking confident after taking that first set. She lobs Vondrousova, brilliant touch. And then she pushes Vondrousova back to force and error and the Czech player is shaking her head, showing some frustration.
She channels that frustration though and hits a perfect drop shot next.
We go to deuce, but Bencic isn't letting up and wants to hold onto her serve. Vondrousova's shot clips the net to gift Bencic the advantage. But she cannot close it out to hold.
Vondrousova hits a fantastic passing shot to get break point. Bencic's forehand into the net gifts her the break - in a game that lasted nearly 10 minutes.
Bencic 7-5 Vondrousova
Bencic gets a lead, up 30-15, and then she pushes Vondrousova back off the baseline and forces an error from the Czech player. Two set points.
Vondrousova hits her backhand wide next, in a sloppy game, and Bencic is first pumping - first set to the Swiss.
Bencic 6-5* Vondrousova
We're seeing the best of both of them now.
Vondrousova hits a superb drop shot but Bencic anticipates it and chased it down - smashing it to the baseline. 15-15.
Vondrousova isn't giving up on her drop shot though. Another almost identical one, and though Bencic reaches it Vondrousova hits an easy passing shot next.
Bencic pulls it back to 30-30, and this next point is crucial. Bencic's backhand is helping open up the court for her, and Vondrousova can't help but laugh as Bencic sends her this way and that. Game point for Bencic.
She holds on, and Vondrousova must serve to stay in the set.
Bencic *5-5 Vondrousova
Vondrousova is 40-30 up, but then Bencic hits a perfect forehand passing shot down the line. Deuce. But Vondrousova is not being led down any nervy paths here, she brings out two strong serves and holds.
This is a test of nerve now.
Bencic 5-4* Vondrousova
Bencic under pressure there but she holds. This is hard to call at this point, but Vondrousova now serving to stay in the first set.
Bencic *4-4 Vondrousova
Vondrousova holds. All square.
Bencic 4-3* Vondrousova
This match is swinging at every change of serve.
Now it's Vondrousova's chance to go up a break. But Bencic successfully defends the first one. And her brilliant serve saves the second one. Deuce.
But Bencic won't be broken this time, and she goes ahead in this set as we stay on serve.
Bencic *3-3 Vondrousova
Bencic is really fired up, she needs to try to channel this. A challenge goes her way and she has two break-back points at 15-40.
Vondrousova saves the first one, with a volley at the net. Then Bencic wastes the next one, her backhand going into the net. We're at deuce again. Bencic's forehand down the line earns her a third break point opportunity and this time she takes it with a deep return.
We're on serve once more.
Bencic 2-3* Vondrousova
At 30-30 Bencic creeps further and further into the court, and takes control. She hits a backhand volley right at Vondrousova, who makes an error.
But Bencic doesn't close out the game and we're at deuce.
Vondrousova's passing shot earns her a break point. But Bencic finds a strong serve and saves it. She's getting agitated though as she's been unable to close this game out. We're into a fifth deuce with neither player able to take advantage.
Vondrousova gets another break point opportunity though, and this time Bencic's double fault gifts the break to her opponents. Quite the turnaround in this final.
Bencic *2-2 Vondrousova
Vondrousova has lifted her level, and powers to 40-0. She's looking confident.
But Bencic puts herself back in the game, hitting a lovely backhand down the line off of Vondrousova's drop shot.
But Vondrousova holds to 30.
Bencic 2-1* Vondrousova
Brilliant response. Vondrousova sets up three break points, pushing Bencic around the court and forcing an error.
Bencic hits a tame forehand into the net, and she surrenders her break. We're back on servce.
Bencic *2-0 Vondrousova
Bencic gets the first opportunity to break here in this final. In a pulsating rally, which Vondrousova was guiding really well, the Czech player sends her volley long. Bencic with an early break and the best possible start.
Bencic 1-0* Vondrousova
Switzerland has never won gold in the singles in tennis - in men's or women's. Bencic with a shot at history here. But there's a long way to go.
She starts with a comfortable hold to 15.
Bencic *0-0 Vondrousova
Bencic to open the serving now.
This is what bronze means to Elina!
Gold medal match between Bencic and Vondrousova coming next.
SVITOLINA WINS!!! Rybakina 6-1 6-7 4-6 Svitolina
Svitolina takes a 30-15 lead. Then Rybakina misses an easy enough volley by a country mile. Two match points to Svitolina.
She throws a cross-court backhand wide though on the first. And on the next Rybakina hits a phenomenal backhand winner down the line. Deuce.
Svitolina hits a brilliant serve down the T. Third match point and Svitolina is so focused.
But Rybakina isn't going down without a fight. She pushes Svitolina this way and that in their rally, and then her forehand strokes the line. Second deuce.
Rybakina's return goes long next, and gives Svitolina her fourth opportunity to win this bronze medal. She faults the first serve. Then Rybakina, with her back against the wall, hits a quick backhand winner down the line again to go to deuce. She's saving her best tennis for the crunch moments, as the next point she loses again.
Can Svitolina do it on her fifth match point? Nope. Her tame second serve is pounced on by Rybakina and Svitolina hits the next shot into the net. We're at deuce again.
Rybakina misses her overhead smash. Svitolina has a SIXTH opportunity now. But no, Rybakina's forehand is just showing up on match point.
As before though we have a seventh match point, and this time - this time - Elina Svitolina's backhand winner finds the line. She falls to her knees and cries as she finally clinches the bronze medal. Brilliant comeback.
Rybakina 6-1 6-7 4-5* Svitolina
At 30-30, Rybakina's forehand down the line goes just wide.
Svitolina has a break point, and she hangs on - and Rybakina hits her shot wide again. Svitolina with the crucial break. She's about to serve for the bronze medal.
Rybakina 6-1 6-7 *4-4 Svitolina
Rybakina with a great opening point, looking confident again and striking through the ball. A forehand winner down the line and she is up 0-30. Svitolina wins the next two points though and it's 30-30. And ace and then a super forehand for Svitolina and she holds.
Rybakina 6-1 6-7 4-3* Svitolina
Wow, what a turnaround this would be. Rybakina is down two break points to Svitolina, and her forehand misses the baseline by a good metre. Break back from Svitolina and a huge roar to go with it. This match is not over!!
Rybakina 6-1 6-7 *4-2 Svitolina
Svitolina is not letting up, despite the deficit. A lovely cross-court backhand to hold to 15, and she will not feel like she's out of this. Not yet.
Rybakina 6-1 6-7 4-1* Svitolina
Rybakina holds to love very quickly.
That's a big relief, after Rybakina was looking tense in the last game. Big gap and she is two games away from a bronze medal now.
Rybakina 6-1 6-7 *3-1 Svitolina
Svitolina is really pushing on every point, and trying her utmost to turn this around. But she's making mistakes, overhitting. Two long shots and Rybakina has two break points.
The next point Svitolina finds the line though, despite Rybakina's challenge, and then she saves the next break point too with a good serve.
She eventually holds. Rybakina could have had a double break lead. Could that be costly?
Rybakina 6-1 6-7 3-0* Svitolina
Rybakina is trying to wear Svitolina down, as this match edges towards its third hour. It is working at the beginning of this game, but then Svitolina's trademark fight comes through and she pulls herself back to deuce.
Rybakina's backhand volley goes into the net, and Svitolina has an opporunity to break back immediately. She is playing some amazing defence, making Rybakina win every point three or four times - but Rybakina saves the break point eventually and eventually holds. She's 3-0 up.
Rybakina 6-1 6-7 *2-0 Svitolina
Svitolina's second double fault of the match gives Rybakina a break point opportunity. She pounces on Svitolina's serve next, and hits a forehand winner down the line. Rybakina's up a break in the decider!
Rybakina 6-1 6-7 1-0* Svitolina
Rybakina saves an early break point in this deciding set, and then uses her serve to take an important hold and stop the momentum swining Svitolina's way anymore than it already has.
Third set coming next!
After a short heat break.
SVITOLINA WINS THE SET! Rybakina 6-1 6-7 TB: 5-7 Svitolina
Svitolina is trying to find her way inside the baseline, but Rybakina is pushing her back and across each side of the court in this rally. Rybakina makes her move, running to the net, but her volley goes wide. Set point Svitolina, on her serve.
She hits a powerful serve next, and Rybakina mishits the return. Set Svitolina and we are going to go the distance! What a comeback from a set and break down for Ukraine's top player.
Rybakina 6-1 6-6 TB: *5-5 Svitolina
This is back and forth, Svitolina going up a mini-break again and then losing it immediately as Rybakina's shot construction gets the better of the Ukrainian. 4-4.
But then a forehand miss from Rybakina puts Svitolina up 5-4. Her next forehand though finds the corner, and it's 5-5. Huge next point.
Rybakina 6-1 6-6 TB: *3-3 Svitolina
Rybakina betters Svitolina in a long rally, keeping the pace on the ball and powering past Svitolina eventually.
Then she looks controlled and calm as she hits a winner to equal things up at 3-3.
Rybakina 6-1 6-6 TB:1-2* Svitolina
Svitolina up a mini-break, after Rybakina's shot goes long.
Rybakina 6-1 6-6 Svitolina
Drama as they are 30-30 in this game. But - surprise, surprise - Rybakina hits an unreturned serve. Then, despite Svitolina's all or nothing defending, Rybakina hits a volley at the net to push this to a tiebreak.
Rybakina 6-1 *5-6 Svitolina
Svitolina blasts through her service game too. She is not letting go, and she guarantees this will go to a tiebreak at the very least.
Rybakina 6-1 5-5* Svitolina
Rybakina kept that short and sweet - the quickest service game we've had all match as she holds to love. She doesn't want this to go to a third set. 5-5, Svitolina to serve next.
Rybakina 6-1 *4-5 Svitolina
Svitolina is 40-15 up. But Rybakina is powering Svitolina across the court everytime they get into a rally, to try to get some kind of result out of this. She does, and gets back to 40-40 to put more pressure on Svitolina's serve.
It took a couple of deuces, but Svitolina eventually holds.
Tense next game.
Rybakina 6-1 4-4* Svitolina
At 30-30 this is a big point. But Rybakina hits an ace down the T and then another good first serve to help her smash a volley home to hold.
Rybakina 6-1 *3-4 Svitolina
Svitolina looks much more confident now, and she is even rushing the net to take these points by the scruff of the neck. She holds to 15, smashing the final point right at Rybakina. This feels like a big momentum shift. Can she keep it up?
Rybakina 6-1 3-3* Svitolina
Svitolina goes 0-30 up and is looking at her best chance to break back so far this set.
Rybakina recovers to even things up, but then sends a forehand long and Svitolina has a break point opportunity. But she cannot convert, Rybakina's serve and winner combo getting the better of Svitolina again.
Rybakina goes long again though and Svitolina has another chance. Kazakhstan's No 1 is so good under pressure though, and is finding another level to push Svitolina to make mistakes on break points.
Another two errors from Rybakina, this time going wide twice after Svitolina hit an aggressive return, sees the Ukrainian break back. Big fist pump from Svitolina after that effort. We're even in the second set. Game on!
Rybakina 6-1 *3-2 Svitolina
Svitolina is close to holding her serve at 40-30 up but then double faults. It is all going wrong for her.
But she isn't giving up, she hits a forehand winner to hold. She marches back to her chair, she knows how important that hold was, but she's still got so much to do to get back into this battle for a bronze medal.
Rybakina 6-1 3-1* Svitolina
Rybakina's serve is still really hard to read. Svitolina capitalises on a couple of second serves though, and challenges to 30-40. But Rybakina is not dropping her level, she drop shots Svitolina and then hits a brilliant reflex volley at the net to clinch the game. She is three games from a bronze medal now.
Rybakina 6-1 *2-1 Svitolina
Svitolina is missing too many shots. She hits a forehand into the net to open the game and her face says it all. She knows she has to reel these mistakes in.
Rybakina pounces on her lacklustre serve then, and hits a backhand winner down the line to go 15-30 up. Another good return gets another error from Svitolina, and Rybakina has two break points. She doesn't have to do much else, as Svitolina sends a forhand long and Rybakina gets the break.
A long way back for Svitolina, down a break and a set.
Rybakina 6-1 1-1* Svitolina
Rybakina is looking confident. Her serving is really the difference in that game, as she keeps the rallies short to keep ploughing ahead. Pressure back on Svitolina to stay in this.
Rybakina 6-1 *0-1 Svitolina
Svitolina wins her second game - and first one in the last five.
She stops the rot, by coming into the court, getting more pace on the ball and not just defending Rybakina's shots.
RYBAKINA TAKES THE FIRST SET! Rybakina 6-1 Svitolina
Commanding from Rybakina, and not convincing at all from Svitolina - who needs to find some fight and some answers, and fast.
Rybakina *5-1 Svitolina (* denotes the next server)
This match is fast running away from Svitolina. More mistakes and Rybakina has three break points.
A wild backhand from Svitolina gifts Rybakina the opportunity to serve this first set out.
Rybakina 4-1* Svitolina (* denotes the next server)
Rybakina is firmly in control now, finding her range and turning up the intensity in rallies.
She holds, and is two games away from taking the first set.
Rybakina *3-1 Svitolina (* denotes the next server)
Rybakina up 0-40 and with three break points out of nowhere. Svitolina's backhand into the net seals it on the second one.
From facing two break points in the previous game to now being up a break in the space of a couple of minutes, quite the turnaround for Rybakina.
Rybakina 2-1* Svitolina (* denotes the next server)
Rybakina starts slowly, but Svitolina wastes a first break point opportunity, hitting her forehand into the net.
She gets another opportunity though, after Rybakina's drop shot comes up short. The Kazakh saves break point though, a strong serve and volley the key.
She cannot get out of the game though, going to six deuces. Finally, she comes through, a perfect drop shot getting the better of Svitolina. Significant hold early on in this first set.
Rybakina *1-1 Svitolina
Confident opening service game for Svitolina, and an ace seals her hold.
Rybakina 1-0* Svitolina
Rybakina hits a couple of forehands into the net. But her serve pulls her through a relatively easy first game. She holds.
Rybakina *0-0 Svitolina
Rybakina to open up the serving. She's got a lot more power in her game than Svitolina, including a big serve.
Rybakina vs Svitolina
Some quickfire facts as they warm up.
World ranking: Rybakina 20 vs Svitolina 6
Head-to-head: one win each in their two previous matches (Rybakina won their last match at Eastbourne earlier this summer)
Women's bronze medal match to come
Rybakina vs Svitolina is up next - stay with us for updates starting from 10:10am.
Tears of joy for Pablo!
Djokovic is beaten by Carreno Busta, as the Spaniard wins the bronze medal! He was lying on the court in tears after clinching the medal. Hugely deserved after almost three hours of play.
It is the first time since the 2019 ATP Finals that Djokovic has lost two matches in a row. And the world No 1 really lost his cool in that match, flinging his racket into the stands at one point.
Look at what it means!
BRAZIL WIN BRONZE!! Brazil 4-6 6-4 11-9 ROC
Stefani stretches for a volley, and lobs Kudermetova. The Russian gets the ball back in play but then hits an unforced error into the net next. Match point for the Brazilians - what a turnaround.
Then Brazil charge the net, what has worked so well for them this match, and it works! Vesnina's shot goes long and Brazil win their first ever medal in Olympic tennis! After saving four match points, what a comeback.
Incredible scenes as Stefani and Pigossi are in tears, they cannot believe it.
Brazil 4-6 6-4 *9-9 ROC
Stefani and Vesnina churn it out on the baseline and Brazil save their fourth match point as the Russian's shot goes long. Huge emotion from the Brazilians after that point. They could be about to cause a massive upset.
Brazil 4-6 6-4 *8-9 ROC
Vesnina's return goes wide and Brazilsavce one match point. But it's still
Brazil better the ROC in a long, nervous point, Pigossi hitting a net point winner to save another match point.
Again the ROC look nervy, and Brazil take control at the net to bring it back to 8-9. What a comeback.
Brazil 4-6 6-4 *5-9 ROC
An ace down the 'T' from Vesnina shows huge composure from the most experienced player on the court. ROC are two points away from bronze. Then she hits a big return on Pigossi's serve. Match point.
Brazil 4-6 6-4 5-7* ROC
Two consecutive points for the first time in this super tiebreak for Brazil, and we're at 7-4.
Then Pigossi hits a return winner on Vesnina's serve and this tiebreak is suddenly super close.
Brazil 4-6 6-4 *2-7 ROC
Brazil lose a challenge, and then a brilliant winner from Kudermetova - after a battle on the baseline with Stefani - gets the ROC to 7-2.
Brazil 4-6 6-4 *2-5 ROC
Brazil's pair both come to the net, a tactic that has worked during this match so far, but Vesnina and Kudermetova was wise to it and put away another volley to pull ahead 4-1.
And there's more experience showing on the ROC's part, as reigning champion Vesnina again puts her shot past the Brazilians.
Brazil get one point back to keep some pressure on, with the Russians are halfway to the bronze medal.
Brazil 4-6 6-4 1-3* ROC
Double fault for Brazil inches the ROC ahead to 2-1. Then Vesnina, with all her experience, hits a super serve which Kudermetova puts away with a simple volley.
Brazil 4-6 6-4 0-0* ROC
Here we go, super tiebreak coming up!
Brazil even things up in the doubles bronze medal match
Brazil's Pigossi and Stefani have pushed the bronze medal match to a super tiebreak, taking the second set against ROC's Kudermetova and Vesnina.
They're currently in a heat break but we're going to join this match for the exciting finale when they restart!
Insight from Vondrousova
After her surprisingly dominant 6-3 6-1 semi-final win over Elina Svitolina, Vondrousova gave some insight into how her win over Osaka helped spur her on at the Olympics:
I was thinking that two or three matches would have been great, and then I beat Naomi so then I thought that I was playing well and that maybe I could even do better.
I’m now just happy to be in the final. It’s an amazing feeling. I can’t believe it. Maybe it’ll sink in later. This is amazing, even if it’s silver or gold, it’s amazing and I’m just very proud.
A huge opportunity for her today to win an Olympic gold medal.
Djokovic is struggling
The World No 1 Novak Djokovic suffered a shock loss in the semi-final yesterday, and is now down a set to Pablo Carreno Busta in the battle for bronze. Score is currently at 6-4 4-5 - with Djokovic ahead in the second set.
The doubles bronze medal match is underway
The ROC's Kudermetova and Vesnina are lading by one set, but Brazilian pair Pigossi and Stefani are up a break in the second set.
Hello and welcome to our women's tennis blog this morning on the eighth day of Tokyo 2020.
Yet again, Olympic tennis ripped up the rulebook this past week and has taught us there are no guarantees. But isn’t that the way it always is in women’s tennis anyway?
Favourite Ash Barty lost in the first round, then Naomi Osaka’s comeback fell apart quickly soon after and suddenly the field was wide open.
The two women who have seized the opportunity to reach the final are Czech Republic’s Marketa Vondrousova and Belinda Bencic of Switzerland.
Bencic’s road to the final includes a win over French Open champion Barbora Krejcikova and she is also guaranteed a medal in the doubles final tomorrow with partner Viktorija Golubic. That is some way to step up at the Olympics for the world No 12, especially after a very mixed year of results for her so far in 2021.
As for Vondrousova, the 2019 Roland Garros finalist has been the dark horse at this tournament, including beating Osaka in straight sets to make it to this stage.
She and Bencic have only played each other once on tour, earlier this year in Miami, with Vondrousova beating Bencic in a hard-fought three-setter.
Like with Bencic, Vondrousova's results this year have been a mixed bag and she is down the rankings at 42 in the world, but her experience in a Grand Slam final may well help the 22 year old deal with the pressure here.
But before we get there we have a bronze medal to award, with Elina Svitolina of Ukraine and Kazakhstan's Elena Rybakina set to compete for it.
We will keep you up to date on the blog for all the women's tennis this morning, as and when it happens. Stay with us!