Belinda Bencic feels things are ‘clicking’ and she is ‘on the right track again’ after tough start to 2022

Belinda Bencic celebrates

The 2022 season didn’t get off to the best of starts for Belinda Bencic as she lost early at the Australian Open and the WTA 1000 events in Qatar and Indian Wells.

However, she finally started to find her rhythm again at the Miami Open as she reached the semi-final before going down in three sets against Naomi Osaka and followed it up with the Charleston Open title, beating the likes of second seed Paula Badosa and ninth seed Madison Keys en route to winning the trophy.

It was her sixth WTA singles title and her first on clay.

The Tokyo Olympics gold medallist, who contracted Covid late last year and struggled to shake it off, explains why it took her a while to get going this campaign.

I always try to get a good start in Australia, but somehow I haven’t found any luck there so far,” she told WTA Insider. “I was in quarantine last year and then I had Covid this year. I went to Australia with no expectations, just to play because I had been sick and wasn’t fit enough to play really good. So in a way, I feel fine because I didn’t have much expectations.

“I also didn’t really lose to bad players. I played the second round against [Amanda] Anisimova in Australia, then in Sydney I lost to Badosa in the quarter-finals, in St Petersburg I lost in the quarter-finals to [Anett] Kontaveit. So it hasn’t been bad matches, but I didn’t have the strength or energy to get over the line.

“Now I feel like it’s clicking for me and the confidence has to come. You need to have all those matches, tight matches, sometimes having points down, sometimes just fighting your way, even though you’re not playing great. Then you get this confidence back. I’m really relieved that I got it over the line because I really wanted to use this chance.

“So I’m happy that we’re on the right track again. You feel it in your tennis. Whether you lose or you win, you always feel if you’re playing your tennis or not.”