In September 2017, Belinda Bencic was ranked outside the top-300, undergoing wrist surgery and missing all the action between April and September. The Swiss had to start all over from the ITF level, winning four titles by the end of the year and returning into the top-100 ahead of 2018 that hadn't been that good in the first six months, struggling to find form and with more injuries.
Bouncing back again, Bencic finished the year in the top-40 and gained massive boost ahead of 2019 when she conquered the title in Dubai, her first since 2015 and the second at the Premier 5 level following four straight wins over the rivals from the top-10.
After the semi-final run at the US Open, the Swiss found herself in the top-10, earning enough points to make a debut at the WTA Finals in Shenzhen. Despite a slower start of her 2020 campaign, Belinda has gained some ranking positions to become world no.
4, preparing for the title defense in Dubai and not thinking about world no. 1 spot, keeping that pressure off her back. The Swiss has set her focus only on training runs and the very next rival, not thinking too far ahead or making some big plans and goals.
Belinda will face Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova in the first round of Dubai, with no easy rivals en route to a potential title with the packed field. "I'm feeling good. You have to find form all over again with every new season; that's why I'm working hard," Bencic said.
"The draw is incredibly tough here in Dubai; all of the players have a tough first round. You cannot choose your opponent here because it is packed; I think you need to beat everyone when you want to go deep here. I don't get why people think about success and then after playing with pressure.
For me, it is not; it's a privilege. I won here last year, so I can only play great again here; that's how I see it. I think it's all about the mentality. No, I'm not thinking about the no. 1 spot because I'm very far from it; instead, I'm focusing on what's happening on the court.
I'm going to the court, trying to do the best I can in every practice I attend, every match I play. The rankings are very spectacular for the media to put pressure on players. For me, it's just a reward for your tennis on the court, not something I have to focus about."