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Belinda Bencic

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Bio Belinda Bencic (born 10 March 1997) is a Swiss professional tennis player. She has a career-high Women's Tennis Association (WTA) ranking of No. 7 in the world, and she has been ranked as high as No. 10 in 2019. Bencic has won three singles and two doubles titles on the WTA Tour.
Her parents were both born in Czechoslovakia, but her father's family emigrated to Switzerland in 1968 to flee the Warsaw Pact invasion by the Soviet Union. Her father was a professional hockey player in the Swiss National League A and National League B before becoming an insurance broker. Her mother was a high-level handball player.
Bencic hit her first tennis balls at the age of two and began training with her father, who was also a recreational tennis player, for one hour per day at the age of four. She entered her first national tournament at that age, losing to an opponent six years older in straight sets without winning a game. Bencic would regularly face much older opponents as a child and was encouraged by her father to try to win two games per set.
When Bencic was five years old, her father contacted fellow Czechoslovak immigrant Melanie Molitor, the mother and coach of world No. 1 Swiss tennis player Martina Hingis, for coaching advice. Hingis becoming the top player in the world around the time Bencic was born was also one reason her father was inspired to introduce her to the sport of tennis. Molitor agreed to gauge Bencic's abilities, which led to Bencic working with Molitor once a week for about a year. At the age of six, Bencic also spent six months at Nick Bollettieri's academy in Florida in the United States, winning several under-10 tournaments. Around this time, her father also asked Marcel Niederer, a childhood friend and fellow hockey player who had become an entrepreneur, if he could help sponsor his daughter's career. Niederer agreed to invest in Bencic, which gave her father the ability to quit his job so he could spend more time traveling with and coaching his daughter while she competed at tournaments. In 2004 when Bencic was seven years old, her family moved to Wollerau, where Molitor had just opened up her own academy, so that she could train there every day. She continued to work with Molitor through her teenage years, and has also occasionally worked with Hingis. By the time she was 16, Bencic became the No. 1 ranked junior in the world and won two junior Grand Slam singles titles at the French Open and Wimbledon. On the professional tour, she made her top 100 debuts shortly after turning 17. Her first big breakthrough came at the 2014 US Open, where she became the youngest quarterfinalist since Hingis in 1997. Bencic won her first two WTA titles in 2015, including the Canadian Open where she defeated four of the top six players in the world. She then made her top 10 debuts the following year while still 18 years old.

From 2016 through 2018, Bencic struggled with a variety of injury issues, most notably needing to have wrist surgery in 2017 that kept her out for five months and saw her ranking drop outside the top 300. Nonetheless, she rebounded quickly and rose back into the top 50 within a year of her comeback. Her second Premier 5 title at the Dubai Tennis Championships helped her climb back into the top 20 in 2019, and she returned to the top 10 later that year after reaching her first Grand Slam semifinal at the US Open.

Playing style:
Bencic is regularly compared to former world No. 1 Martina Hingis, as both players are Swiss, of Slovak descent, and have been coached by Hingis's mother. Hingis has compared herself with Bencic, saying, "The technique, my mom puts a lot of attention to that. So the game, I mean, [Bencic has] got a great backhand as well. But also she’s stronger, so she can work with other weapons than I had. I mean, maybe I was more maybe a little better mover, but when she hits a shot it can be a winner. Like she’s hitting a lot more winners than did I. So it’s different a little bit." Bencic excels at hitting the ball early or on the rise.
Tennis coach Günter Bresnik has called her an "unbelievably smart player” and noted that “She understands the game really well and knows exactly how to throw the other player off." Bencic possesses the ability to hit powerful groundstroke winners but prefers to hit lob winners when presented with both options. When playing with Roger Federer at the Hopman Cup, he praised her prowess at returning serve. Bencic is capable of turning defence into offence and excels at redirecting cross-court shots down the line.
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