BIEL/BIENNE, Switzerland - The inaugural Ladies Open Biel Bienne will commence on Monday at the Swiss Tennis Center in Roger Federer Allee, Biel, Switzerland.
While the new indoor hardcourt event is attracting many of the top players - Carla Suárez Navarro, Roberta Vinci, Karolína Pliskova are all confirmed, among others - it is the Swiss who are particularly excited.
At the Biel draw, Belinda Bencic explained that it has always been her dream to play in Switzerland. As a youngster, she would watch Martina Hingis play at the Zurich Open, before it shut down ten years ago. Now she is being given the opportunity to play in front of a home crowd herself.
"I'm absolutely thrilled to be here," Bencic said. "I'm glad to have a tournament in Switzerland where I can finally play at home and it's absolutely amazing. The new stadium looks amazing. I will definitely enjoy my first match. I'm familiar with the conditions and I think it's definitely an advantage for us home players.
"I was so sad when it [the Zurich Open] stopped being there because it was my dream to play in Switzerland. I used to watch Martina Hingis from as long as I can remember so I'm very thrilled that there is now a tournament in Switzerland."
Bencic will play Carina Witthoeft in the first round, Masarova will face Annika Beck and Golubic has drawn against Laura Siegemund. The full draw can be found here. The tournament will run from 10-16th April.