Belinda Bencic recalls beating Serena Williams as teenager in 2015

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Belinda Bencic recalls beating Serena Williams as teenager in 2015

Belinda Bencic says the appreciation and respect Serena Williams has been getting in recent days shows how big of a player she is. In 2015, an 18-year-old Bencic stunned Williams at a WTA 1000 event in Toronto. Three weeks ago, Bencic defeated Williams for the second time, again in Toronto.

To this day, Bencic feels beating Williams in 2015 has been one of the best victories of her career. "I'm very proud to say that I managed to beat her. But still, I mean, I think now that it's kind of ending, I feel like more and more I realize, like, how big this moment is and how much she's done, how big she is," Bencic said.

"I mean, the emotion were huge. Of course, I mean, I was 18 years old. I got to play Serena Williams already a couple of times before. First time I won the set, I was really pumped up to at least have won a set. I eventually won the match.

It was big emotions. I still have it really clearly in my mind. I think for sure it's still one of the biggest wins I ever had."

Bencic on Andrea Petkovic

In the US Open first round, Bencic defeated Petkovic 6-2 4-6 6-4.

Petkovic, a former Grand Slam semifinalist and a top-10 player, was playing the final Grand Slam of her career as she is also heading into retirement. "Yeah, definitely, she's really a nice person. Since I'm on the tour, when I was really young coming up, she was one of the players that was very nice to me when I was, like, unknown still.

I really appreciate that," Bencic said of Petkovic. "She's also one of the fairest players. Yeah, as you said, the funniest. She has the coolest jokes, very nice humor. I feel like she will be for sure missed on the tour because I think she was a big character." Bencic plays Sorana Cirstea in the US Open second round.