23-year-old Belinda Bencic, world number 4 in the opening weeks of 2020, has won a total of 6 career WTA titles, including one Rogers Cup in Toronto and one in Dubai. Semifinalist at the US Open last year, in the other Grand Slams he never reached the quarter-finals.
In the last two years he has taken part in the now defunct Australian Hopman Cup alongside fellow countryman Roger Federer, triumphing in both cases against Germany led by Alexander Zverev and Angelique Kerber. The 23-year-old Bencic was recently asked who she would want to partner in the most important doubles match of her life.
Her answer did not have a hint of hesitation.
Bencic on Roger Federer
“Well, I think definitely Roger Federer, if its mixed doubles,” Belinda Bencic said, on the sidelines of the Italian Open. She was then asked about her experience of playing mixed doubles with Federer.
“Well, of course, it feels amazing. I always thought I was going to be super nervous. But I was more nervous when Roger was watching my singles match,” Belinda said. She explained how Federer made things easy for her in the doubles.
“In the doubles, I really felt much support from him. He was calming me down and everything it was amazing, I think,” Bencic continued. Bencic and Federer previously represented Switzerland at the now defunct Hopman Cup, winning the title in 2018 and 2019, and the four-time WTA Tour winner revealed she was nervous when she got the meet him.
“When I didn’t know him so well, I was very nervous when I spoke to him,” she said. “I met him at the Hopman Cup, where he helped me a lot. Even now he always has an open ear for me. He is especially at my side with questions about advanced training and tournament preparation.
Not only is he a champion himself, he also wants to help the next generation”. Recovering from two knee surgeries is extremely challenging. It is a demanding task for Federer to come back with full fitness, and hence, he is taking time with his rehab process.
At 39, Federer coming back and playing his best tennis will indeed be a miraculous effort. Federer’s coach Severin Luthi gave a brief on the recovery process, mentioning how the eight-time Wimbledon champion has been getting back on track.
“Rehabilitation is normal. As with everyone, there are good days and bad days after a procedure. Roger started physiotherapy the day after the operation. And for some time now he has been working again with his fitness trainer Pierre Paganini. At the moment the focus is on achieving full physical fitness again,” Luthi said.