Belinda Bencic: ‘Just filled with a lot of emotion’

Belinda Bencic

Swiss Belinda Bencic won the at ’15 Toronto tournament and it looked like she was moving up the ladder. She was clocking some massive strokes, was fast and she could crack with her serve. She reached the semis at the 2019 US Open but never made it very far at the other Grand Slams. That was very good, but not enough.

Mentally, she was pretty young, so downturns would bother her. Also, she was hurt with a back injury, and is was difficult to run fast when her legs were sore. So then, she fell way down in the ranking.

But now she is more mature. If she can continue to be lethal all the time, then maybe she can grab the crown once again in Canada. In April, she won Charleston, and she also won the Olympics.

A few days ago, she beat the 23-time Grand Slam champion Serena Williams, which was very emotional. Serena may not play again, or maybe she can do it a few more at the events, but she did say ‘Goodbye, Toronto.”

“The occasion was really big. Also like really overwhelming, I would say,” Bencic said. “It was more than just about tennis it was really all about Serena and just her career. So it definitely felt very special to be able to be on court with her. Just filled with a lot of emotion. And in a way I’m also kind of part of her whole path and career. I always say that I never imagined, ever playing against her. And not even saying that winning and also that I beat her twice now in Toronto.

“I don’t really want her to retire. So it’s like just standing on the court against her today was just really overwhelming. And also the first time or the first time I beat her here was also really nice.”

As Bencic said, Serena has won so many huge matches and tournaments. The 40-year-old Williams won the Australian Open, Roland Garros, Wimbledon and the US Open — at least. While she could become very angry or moody, she could turn it around and put together with thousands of winners.

But that is done, now, so Bencic has to go back into the top 10. She is close, as yesterday, the 25-year-old crushed Garbine Muguruza. As long as Serena can be calm, then she can win even more.

“She has this aura that’s just, if you want it or not, you are intimidated, you are scared. Once she’s just standing there at the return, you just get a little bit scared,” Bencic said. “Of course it’s Serena. And in a way with her it feels almost like I’m star struck every time I see her. And I think US Open it’s going to be even more special.”

She will play Brazilian Beatriz Haddad Maia, who is having a terrific tournament. She downed Iga Swiatek 6-4, 3-6, 7-5, giving Swiatek only her fifth loss of the year.

There were two good wins in the afternoon for Simona Halep and Jessica Pegula. Halep was won a number of titles, including at Roland Garros and Wimbledon. American Pegula has yet to reach the semis at the Slams. However, she is now ranked No. 7 and over the past year, she is so much better. The 28-year-old has only one WTA title. Maybe she can get another this year? Maybe.

Casper Ruud easily beat Felix Auger-Aliassime. He thinks he can win a massive tournament. “I hit my spots, made the shots I needed to and make him hit a lot of balls. That was the game plan and it worked well,” he said.

The tall Hubert Hurkacz beat the “now famous” Nick Kyrgios 6-1 in the third. The No. 10 Pole has had some wonderful shots, also beating the No. 1 Daniil Medvedev in Halle in July. He also won Miami last year. Yes, he has a decent chance to win it in Montreal.