Belinda Bencic is the last Swiss player standing in the singles competition at the US Open, a fact she is far from thrilled about.
Bencic progressed to her first grand slam semi-final on Wednesday with a straight-sets win over Donna Vekic.
She will next play Bianca Andreescu or Elise Mertens for a place in the final, carrying the flag for her country after Stan Wawrinka and Roger Federer each lost their quarter-finals in the men’s singles.
“This is not a good thing. I’m not happy about this actually,” Bencic told a media conference when asked about being the last remaining Swiss.
“I’m kind of surprised, like I think everyone is. It would be really nice if the boys could also make it to the semi-finals. But I’m happy I can kind of do it for them and don’t let them down.”
Breakthrough in the Big
— US Open Tennis (@usopen) September 4, 2019
It has been an arduous journey for Bencic to get to this point. She was once ranked seventh in the world but dropped outside the top 300 in 2017 as injuries derailed her career.
Now poised to get back into the top 10, Bencic was asked if she envisioned being a grand slam semi-finalist when she was battling fitness problems.
“I was dreaming, of course, about this day coming, but you never know what’s going to happen,” she added. “You’re not thinking about it. You’re just right in the moment. Either you’re practicing or focusing on your match.
“I worked hard for this. It’s not like I never imagined I could do this. Still, I stayed in the moment. Yeah, [it’s a] very nice feeling.
“The dream of every tennis player obviously is to win the biggest tournaments. I think for sure being number one in the world or winning a grand slam is always a dream. But I think it’s still a long way to that. Of course, I think you can see it there.
“I think the work and staying in the moment is more important right now. Just taking it step by step, like I said all my career. I know it sounds boring. It’s how you have to approach it.
“You cannot think too far ahead because I think that’s just going to kind of make it more difficult or maybe add some pressure or something.
“I’m just trying to get a step closer to that every day. Today I am a step closer.”