Dubai: Defending champion Belinda Bencic wants to convert the pressure on her into advantage as she heads towards a successful defence of her Dubai Duty Free Women’s Open this week.
Bencic overcame Petra Kvitova in three sets exactly a year ago to become the 14th champion at the Dubai Duty Free Women’s Open.
“I’m feeling good. Obviously, every year or every season you have to find your form all over again. That’s what I’m working very hard for,” Bencic told media on Sunday.
“The draw is incredibly tough. All of the players have a tough first round. Anyone you ask who are you playing? It’s always a tough match-up. You cannot choose your opponent here because it’s really packed. I think you need to beat everyone when you want to kind of go deep in the tournament,” she said.
Yet, the Swiss girl who will turn 23 next month, doesn’t feel any sort of pressure. “I don’t really get why people think about success and then after playing with it a pressure. For me, it’s 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,” Bencic smiled.
Bencic was not at her very best from 2016 to 2018 while struggling with a variety of injuries, the worse being a wrist surgery in 2017 that kept her out for five months — while plunging her ranking outside the top-300. However, she rebounded quickly and rose back into the top-50 within a year of her comeback.
In Dubai, she won her second Premier 5 title and this helped her climb back into the top-20 in 2019 and a return into the top-10 later in the year followed after reaching her first Grand Slam semi-final at the US Open. Currently, she’s enjoying her highest singles ranking at No 5, and she is not too perturbed by that either. “No, I’m not thinking about the No 1 spot because I’m very far from it. I’m focusing on what’s happening on the court. That’s my only focus really,” she said.
“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 something that’s very spectacular for the media to put pressure on players. For me, it’s really just a reward for your tennis on the court. It’s not something I have to focus about,” Bencic added.