"You kind of have to accept it, go with it and try your best..." Belinda Bencic, the WTA's 12th ranked woman said on playing against Jelena Ostapenko at last year's Australian Open. She'll have to put forth the same mantra in just getting the strt of her 2021 season off the ground.
The Swiss has many fingers to point as to what's leaving her confused on the events to play and their difficult timeframes. Abu Dhabi Women's event will start the WTA's new season with a good amount of notable women players, but Bencic decided to skip the tournament and concentrate on training and practicing strategies to have the possible dominance on court when she begins to compete.
The Swiss had intentions of making it to the first grand slam of the year, the Australian Open but the dates weren't confirmed by tournament organizers yet due to quarantine rulings and practing before participation at the Melbourne event.
There was the possibility of February 1st, by the Victoria government in their talks with the ATP and WTA. Arriving in Australia, the political unit strongly was against players practicing and training during their 2 weeks of quarantine.
This would seem inappropriate since players wouldn't be physically ready to play without the time to have practice sessions. Bencic points out that "If the tournament should take place, it will be extremely difficult because the preparation on site suffers."
The state borders are even closed until the end of January because of the spikes in the coronavirus cases. If Belinda Bencic decided to participate in the Abu Dhabi event from January 5-13, she wouldn't have time to train and practice for the qualifying rounds in Dubai for the Australian Open.
There is the conflict where the Abu Dhabi event, qualifying rounds and the start of the Australian Open seems to overlap. This is a lot for Bencic and others to focus on as well as constantly living in 'a bubble' and frequent testing.
It is her withdrawal from the Melbourne event that has put a damper on No. 4 ranked Sofia Kenin who was to partner with Bencic in doubles as did at the Qatar Open successfully reaching the quarterfinals. The possibility of finding another partner may be difficult now at such short notice.
Bencic isn't alone with her thoughts on skipping the events. There are Serena Williams and Naomi Osaka along with Caroline Garcia, Jelena Ostapenko and Danielle Collins, to name a few who will give the Abu Dhabi event a miss.
They decided to concentrate on the Australian Open slam instead. Bencic's last season wasn't exactly pleasant as she won only 8 matches in 2020 most taking place in January and February before the Pandemic. She did make the quarterfinal of St.
Petersburg and Doha. She missed the U.S. Open and the French due to the coronavirus spikes. There was one match in Rome where she lost in the opening round to No. 77 Danka Kovinic of Montenegro in straight sets.
January is here already and as yet no definite confirmation on the Aus Open start
Belinda Bencic doesn't want a repeat of last year going into 2021.
She says about her and her coach's idea of being at the Australian Open: "We have no idea yet. But certainly not this year."