Belinda Bencic’s charge back into the Top 20 of the WTA Ranking has been one of the stories of 2019.
The Swiss climbed as high as WTA World No.7 in 2016 but saw her ranking suffer due to back and wrist injuries, falling as low as 318 in the world subsequently.
While she is certainly looking up, she is doing her best to keep her feet firmly on the ground at the same time and refuses to be lured in by the growing hype surrounding her return to the Top 20, which was achieved in March after a near two-and-a-half year absence.
“Now everyone is like: ‘Now she’s back,’ but let’s keep it down because the WTA is so tight now. So many players have a chance to win any tournament,” she said.
“I will definitely keep that attitude with low expectations and keep working on myself and focusing on being healthy and getting the matches in. I’m definitely happy my hard work paid off.”
Her return to the top has been an arduous one, but her win in Dubai in February, when she beat four consecutive Top 10 players en route to the title, suggests that she is well on her way back to the top of the game.
“I felt great on the court,” she said. “I had two very tough first round matches, so everything we took as a bonus. I definitely went on with no pressure but I knew my level was good enough to be there.”
Mentally, she feels that she has changed her approach to the game as a result of her injuries, and as a consequence, she believes it has actually helped her game.
“I definitely feel that I’ve changed my perspective. I enjoy playing much more,” she admitted. “I was happy to be on the court – the first matches I played I didn’t even care if I won or not, I was so happy to play again.”
With a semifinal at Indian Wells also under her belt and ranked No.5 in the Porsche Race to Shenzhen, the 22-year-old has been one of the stars of the year and promises to be a player to watch as the year progresses.