LINZ, October 10, 2017
On February 22, 2016, Belinda Benčič was the number seven in the WTA rankings, and many experts were convinced that the teenager from Switzerland could conquer the tennis throne. It was only a question of time.
Barbara Schett, tournament ambassador of the WTA International event Upper Austria Ladies Linz told during that time: “Benčič reminds me very much of Martina Hingis. She plays instinctive, intelligent tennis. She does not hit very hard, but she always finds an answer to every shot of her opponent.”
The great run of form of Belinda Benčič was then stopped by various injuries. “I’ve been playing half-injured for nine months, but then a wrist surgery in May 2017 became necessary. The first weeks after the surgery were bad, I was devastated. But there were also good moments at home with my family. Now I appreciate it that I can play tennis again,” said Benčič during the WTA tournament in Linz, where she received a wild card from the tournament director Sandra Reichel. Benčič won her first round match on Monday against Belgian Kirsten Flipkens in three sets by the score of 4-6, 6-2, 7-6.
“It was very emotional, and I was very nervous before the game. After the match, I was very relieved and I realized how much I missed those moments,” the now 20-year-old said.
“However, the ranking does not lie. I was number seven, now I am 235 in the world and I accept it. I do not put myself under pressure. I did a lot of fitness training when I was injured, but matches can not be practiced. I have to get used again to playing close points, like in the match against Flipkens. My motto is to go step by step.” Next up for Benčič in Linz will be Ajla Tomljanovic of Croatia.