Belinda Bencic withdraws from Libema Open to delay start of grass season


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Belinda Bencic withdraws from Libema Open to delay start of grass season

World no. 15 Belinda Bencic was supposed to kick off grass season at Libema Open in s-Hertogenbosch but she has decided to skip it and take some rest before hitting the green courts again. With Aryna Sabalenka and Elise Mertens reaching the semi-final in doubles at Roland Garros, it is uncertain who will join Kiki Bertens at Libema Open at the moment and will the organizers lose more good players from the top.

The 22-year-old Bencic had many ups and downs due to injuries in the last couple of years but it already looked better in the closing stages of the previous season, building the momentum and winning the Hopman Cup with Roger Federer in January to kick off 2019 in the best possible way.

A week later, former world no. 7 lost in the semi-final in Hobart and claimed two wins in Melbourne before losing to Petra Kvitova who proved to be too strong at that moment. The experienced youngster was yet to show her best tennis, though, competing on a very high level in Dubai to beat four straight rivals from the top-8 and lift the title, the first since Toronto four years ago!

After a suitable rest, Belinda was the semi-finalist at Indian Wells where Angelique Kerber halted her in straight sets before advancing into the last eight in Charleston and the semi-final in Madrid. Belinda won two matches at Roland Garros, losing to Donna Vekic and opting to take some rest and not play in the first week of the grass swing, having back problems.

Bencic had failed to qualify at Libema Open in 2012 when she was still 15, playing in the final three years later and in the semis in 2016.