WATCH: Jabeur was the lone singles winner on Saturday, defeating Daria Kasatkina in straight sets.

Rain proved an unwelcome doubles partner to the women competing for a spot in the Credit One Charleston Open final on Saturday, and though Ons Jabeur weathered the storm to reach a second straight championship match, defending champ Belinda Bencic wasn’t as lucky.

Bencic’s semifinal with Jessica Pegula will be postponed to Sunday afternoon her American opposition was closing in on a deciding set, leading 4-2 in the second set tiebreaker after losing the opening set, 7-5.

Jabeur saw her fortunes arguably strengthened by the lengthy delay that occurred when the Tunisian trailed 2017 champion Daria Kasatkina, 5-3, in the opening set; on resumption, the former world No. 2 roared through the next four games and withstood a worthy challenge from Kasatkina to ultimately secure a 7-5, 7-5 victory.

“Feels amazing,” said Jabeur, who became the first woman since Serena Williams to reach back-to-back finals in Charleston. “You know, I came here, just wanted to play matches, you know, and gain back the confidence. It's not easy to come back after injuries. So, I'm very happy.”

Jabeur has struggled with injuries and inconsistency to start the 2023 season, skipping the Middle East swing—where she would have likely received a hero’s welcome after becoming the first Arab woman to reach two Grand Slam finals at the 2022 Wimbledon Championships and US Open—to undergo a “minor surgery,” the details of which remain a mystery.

“The knee is getting there,” she explained before the BNP Paribas Open. “Physically I obviously need more time. But when the time is right, I’ll tell you what was going on really.”


Jabeur is yet to drop a set in Charleston after winning just one match at Indian Wells and Miami, and will likely be the fresher of the two finalists as she awaits either Bencic or Pegula later on Sunday.

Bencic, who defeated Jabeur in last year’s final in three dramatic sets, was first out of the gates against Pegula, whom she’d never lost to in three previous meetings. Edging ahead 5-3 in the opening set, the former US Open semifinalist saw her lead cut to five games apiece as Pegula, currently ranked at a career-high of No. 3, began to find her range.

The 26-year-old Bencic rallied to win the set two games later and found herself a game from the final after exchanging breaks to start the second.

Pegula held on and ultimately forced a tiebreak, where she scored a mini-break in time for what would have been a change of ends before the rain returned.

Bencic and Pegula will resume their semifinal not before 1:30PM on Sunday following the doubles final between No. 1 seeds Giuliana Olmos and Ena Shibahara against Danielle Collins and Desirae Krawczyk; the singles final will commence after a suitable rest.

All, of course, is weather permitting.