Belinda Bencic does not believe she is far away from becoming a grand slam champion despite seeing her 2019 hopes ended in a US Open semi-final defeat to Bianca Andreescu on Thursday.
Bencic, who will return to the world’s top 10 next week, enjoyed the best major of her career as she reached the last four at Flushing Meadows, having previously only gone as far as the quarter-finals in New York back in 2014.
Despite coming unstuck against outstanding teenager Andreescu, having led 5-2 in the second set, the Swiss feels as though she is making good progress.
Rather than identify the need for any grand changes to her game to improve further, Bencic suggests “small details”, experience and luck will contribute to future success.
“I think it’s small details that matter,” she told a news conference. “I think it’s not about your forehand or your backhand.
“I think it’s overall just trying to improve even the one per cent more of fitness, of mental [strength], of serve. I think just, overall, everything – maybe even the game when you don’t play so well, to put the level a little bit up.
Yes, @Bandreescu_, this is definitely REAL LIFE!
— US Open Tennis (@usopen) September 6, 2019
“Yeah, I’ll just keep doing what I do. I think I just need to create more opportunities like this, playing semi-finals, semi-finals, quarter-finals.
“Eventually, you have to give luck a chance. That’s my motto.”
Given her previous difficulties at grand slams, Bencic was able to look upon the US Open as a positive experience even with the 7-6 (7-3) 7-5 loss – particularly having retired with a foot injury in her previous tournament at the Western & Southern Open.
“Definitely positively, for sure,” she said when asked how she would reflect on the past two weeks. “We reached more than I expected here. After Cincinnati, coming into this tournament, yeah, I think it’s my best result, semi-finals.
“Really, I’m taking it step by step. I’m just really happy and positive about it.”