From zero to hero: for Belinda Bencic, it's time to dream. In two years everything has changed, and the Swiss can recover all the time she lost between 2016 and the end of 2017. Injuries and problems, in and outside of the courts, had threatened the career of the 22-year-old, who had surprised the world, carving out the role of a future WTA star.
The end of 2017 marked her slow-but-gradual come back to high levels. Her good 2018 was a prelude to 2019 that can bring Bencic back to the top levels of women's tennis, confirming the status of a tennis star, and finally seeing her as a protagonist of women's tennis.
The semi-final at the Mutua Madrid Open is also a confirmation of her great progress on all surfaces; she is now a more complete and mature tennis player, able to play her game depending on the surface on which she plays.
From the beginning of the season, she reached the semi-final in Hobart (defeat against Anna Karolina Schmiedlova), third round at the Australian Open (Petra Kvitova), second round in St. Petersburg (Veronika Kudermetova), won Dubai against Kvitova, semi-final at Indian Wells (Angelique Kerber), second round in Miami (Yulia Putintseva), quarter-finals in Charleston (Petra Martic), first round in Lugano (Antonia Lottner), second round in Stuttgart (Kiki Bertens) and, of course, semi-final in Madrid.
This considering that the most important part of the season, for her, will come from June onwards, with the beginning of the grass season. It will be interesting, however, to see what she will be able to do up to the French Open, to assess her already good clay season more fully.
Among the grass swing, the North American summer and the indoor seasons, she will have great chances to be able to increase her number of titles won and, what more important, to continue her process of technical, physical and mental maturation.