The Swiss Tennis Arena in Biel will host the Fed Cup Qualifiers tie between Switzerland and Canada between February 7-8. Belinda Bencic, Jil Teichmann, Viktorija Golubic, Stefanie Voegele and Timea Bacsinszky will defend the colors of the host nation against strong rivals led by Bianca Andreescu, Leylah Fernandez, Eugenie Bouchard and Gabriela Dabrowski in what should be one of the most entertaining ties of the weekend.
If Bianca Andresscu recovers in time, we should see her clash against Belinda Bencic in the repeat of one of the most thrilling matches from the last year's US Open when the Canadian prevailed in two close sets, with another intriguing encounter just around the corner if Bianca gets at her 100%.
Entering the top-5 for the first time this week despite an early exit in Melbourne, Belinda Bencic is ready for the encounter against the Canadians, feeling pumped and excited about leading her country, just like versus Italy last year.
Belinda made her Fed Cup debut at the age of 14 back in 2012, winning 13 out of 19 rubbers so far and hoping to add more triumphs to her tally over the next couple of days. Playing under the national colors has always been an honor for Bencic who describes the Fed Cup Finals in Budapest (if they qualify) and the Olympics as the most important events of the season.
"I always enjoy playing Fed Cup and for my country, especially at home," said Bencic. "It's a different format now and we're all curious how it's going to be, that's why I would love to play in Budapest.
It's a big goal for me. Canada has a tough team; all of them can play great tennis but I think we have a strong one as well; it's going to be a fun rivalry between white and red! Hopefully, as many people as possible can come and support us in Switzerland – we would love to play in front of a nice crowd.
I'm super excited. My favorite Fed Cup memory is when I played my first singles in Paris against France in 2014. I beat Alize Cornet and Virginie Razzano, playing on an adrenaline wave there, it was amazing. The new format is interesting; it's different.
Every format has its pros and cons, and there's a very long debate about it. I'm used to playing for Switzerland; I know the feeling, and that's why I keep playing because I love it. The Olympics are going to be special, defending the national colors again. I'm super-excited – it's my highlight of the year."