Interview: [4] Belinda Bencic – QF (def. [7] Ekaterina Alexandrova 6-3 6-3)

Interview: [4] Belinda Bencic – QF (def. [7] Ekaterina Alexandrova 6-3 6-3)

Friday, April 7, 2023

Quarterfinal – [4] Belinda Bencic (SUI) def. [7] Ekaterina Alexandrova 6-3 6-3

THE MODERATOR: We’ll get started. Belinda, congratulations. Back into the semifinals for the second year in a row. Could you talk us through the match and how you overcame an opponent you faced so many times.

BELINDA BENCIC: Yes, so happy. Second semifinal back-to-back and third overall here. I really love to play here. I’m really happy with the match today, how I served especially, and how I just like tried not to let her really into her game to have her shot.

So, yeah, it was important. I don’t think she played her best today, but still I felt like I stayed tough and just didn’t allow her to really play her game.

Question: The fans seem to really enjoy you being here. I was just wondering, do you have a special moment that you remember from your time in Charleston, either last year or this year, that you really remembered with the fans?

BELINDA BENCIC: Yeah, definitely the first time I was here, it was still the players still at the little clubhouse, and then I qualified and just went all the way like into the semifinals. Then I had a heartbreaker in the semifinals.

I remember in the player lounge they had cookies and they had Nutella, and I was eating cookies, and I put Nutella spread on them. Like I was so heartbroken.

Question: You kind of said that in your answer to Laura’s prompt, but a win is a win. A win feels good, especially when you get into the semifinals, but when you walk off court and you’ve played as well as you did — like you said, you served well — how do you process something like that as a tennis player when you’ve played so many matches and you feel — I’m guessing, feeling pretty good about your tennis?

BELINDA BENCIC: Yeah, definitely there’s some wins where you’re not very happy with yourself. There’s some wins where you can be very, very satisfied. And there’s some losses where I learned, probably in the one in Miami too.

And I felt like I had a different approach to the match today. I just tried to pressure her even more on the second serve, which I felt sometimes maybe she then started to throw in some double faults, like trying to go for more on her serve. I don’t know, maybe it was not her day on the serve, but maybe I was also a little bit pressuring that.

Also, yeah, I just felt like I played more aggressive. Like I was trying to dictate more, like going for lines earlier than she did and like trying to make her move into the opposite corner. I don’t think her movement is maybe the best on the clay. So I tried to see that.

Yeah, just like things that I didn’t do well in Miami, I just tried to apply. Now it’s really satisfying for me to see that it works, so yeah.

Question: And just simply, we don’t know yet, but either Pegula or Badosa. If you could just talk about each of them in terms of what those matchups — I think it would be somewhat of a different matchup for you.

BELINDA BENCIC: Yeah, for sure. I played Paula here last year as well, and I played her many times. She definitely has a great game. She’s very like strong and very physical.

Also, I feel Jess is very consistent, and she just — I feel like she does anything with the ball. She redirects very well, and you always feel like she’s not even moving, but still
she makes it very like effortless. It looks very effortless when she plays.

So, yeah, I definitely played both. I’m going to watch both matches and also see this match tonight and how they’re playing and just trying to come up with a good tactic and a plan. It will be a good game.

Belinda Bencic
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