Bencic thanks amazing Federer for advice after Kooyong winPosted on January 10, 2018
Belinda Bencic carried her good form from her recent Hopman Cup win for Switzerland with teammate Roger Federer by winning her first match at the 2018 Priceline Pharmacy Kooyong Classic on Wednesday.
The 20-year-old hit the ball cleanly for much of the match against Chinese youngster Wang Xinyu taking out the contest 7-6(5) 6-4 adding to her wins this year against Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova, Coco Vandeweghe and Naomi Osaka.
“I think it was a very difficult match,” Bencic said.
“We were hitting it very hard, didn’t have many rallies, she was serving good.
“So, it was good to get the body going again as I had some days off after the Hopman Cup and it’s very nice to be here in Melbourne.”
The world No. 77 closed out last season with WTA Tour wins in Thailand, Chinese Taipei and Dubai before lifting the cup in Perth with Federer who was more than happy to taker her under his wing for the week.
“I had three or four matches in the Hopman Cup against top players so that gives me a lot of confidence that I can play against them after the injury,” Bencic explained.
“Of course (it was great to play with Federer), everything he says when he is talking to you, you learn so much and when you see him playing.
“It’s just so nice for him to help me and give me advice, and that’s just amazing and I appreciate it a lot.
“Being around a champion all week is amazing.”
Bencic also praised Xinyu who played a confident game for a 16-year-old that is on the verge of making her Grand Slam debut at Melbourne Park next week.
“She’s a great player, hits the ball very hard, I don’t think I could hit the ball so hard when I was 16 years old,” the Swiss said.
“Her serve is obviously very good, and she needs to be more consistent and just keep playing but I think it’s great that she’s in the main draw and I wish her so much luck.”
Xinyu will be the youngest player in either main draw of the 2018 Australian Open, a year after Australian Destanee Aiava became the first player born this century to play in a major.
“I think I played good and it was a tough match, it was just a little bit during the important points I didn’t do so good,” Xinyu said.
“I’m feeling good here and I’m happy to play here today, I just want to play like this and not really think too much.”
She is clearly not overwhelmed by the moment of competing on the big stage, stating that she would ideally like to meet World No. 6 Karolina Pliskova from the Czech Republic in the first round.
“It feels amazing,” Xinyu said of playing at a Grand Slam.
“I think it will be an unforgettable experience for me.
“(I want to play against) Pliskova, because I like her so much, if I got a chance to play with her that would be great.”