Within two seasons in 2016 and 2017, super talented Swiss Belinda Bencic passed a long way from a teenager in the top-10 towards the top-150 exit, bouncing back in 2018 and showing her full potential in the season behind us to return into the elite.
Belinda claimed titles in Dubai and Moscow last year, reaching the semi-final at Indian Wells and Madrid and suffering a loss in Mallorca final on grass before reaching the semi-final at the US Open. Securing a place at the WTA Finals for the first time, the Swiss advanced into another semi-final, gathering momentum ahead of 2020 that kicked off with an early loss in Shenzhen.
Eager to play more matches ahead of the Australian Open, Bencic grabbed Adelaide wild card and made a winning start, beating her good friend Daria Kasatkina 6-4, 6-4 in an hour and 24 minutes. Speaking about the pressure of repeating such a great season, Belinda said she doesn't feel that way, always trying to stay competitive and give her best, despite being a target now.
Also, the Swiss mentioned Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal who have accomplished so much and have been playing under pressure for the entire career, year after year. "It's always tough for me to play Daria; we're good friends, we've known each other for many years since the juniors.
She has a very different game style than me, that's why I think it's exciting when we play each other. I think it was a hard-fought victory today and I hope to get more of these," Bencic said. "What can Roger Federer or Rafael Nadal say? I think they have more pressure than me and I don't feel that way.
I had a great season last year and a lot of fun playing tennis; I like to compete and that's why I'm not afraid of losing because I'm a target now. I'm still trying to get better and rise in the rankings, so that's my goal."