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Belinda Bencic breaks into the top 10 of the WTA rankings

498   //    15 Feb 2016, 22:30 IST
‘To be in the Top 10, it was always like a dream’

The teens are once again making their mark in WTA tennis but none of them is rising as fast as the Swiss prodigy, Belinda Bencic. The 18-year-old added another feather in her cap by breaking into the top 10 of the world rankings for the first time in her career.

On Monday, the youngster was placed at No. 9 when the latest WTA rankings were published, making her the 116th different player to make it to the top 10 since computer rankings were introduced in 1975. Bencic was confirmed of a place in the elite bracket after she won her semi-final against fellow 18-year-old Daria Kasatkina on Saturday at the St Petersburg Ladies Trophy.

Making her presence felt

The elated Swiss had admitted that right since her childhood she had dreamt about being in the top 10.

“To be in the Top 10, it was always like a dream, from very small kid – now I reached it! This is a big day for me.”

The top-seeded Bencic, however, went on to lose the St Petersburg final to the second-seeded Roberta Vinci in a battle of youth vs experience but she can be proud of her efforts the past week. At the tender age of 18, this was already her sixth career WTA final and her first this year.

2015 saw her meteoric rise as she won two titles – at Eastbourne on grass and at Toronto on hardcourts – thoroughly showing her versatility. Her run to the title at Toronto, especially, was staggering as she accounted for four top-10 players which included a stunning three-set defeat of the World No. 1 Serena Williams.

At the Grand Slams too, she has been making her presence felt and reached the quarter-finals of the US Open in 2014 at the age of 17. That made her the youngest to reach the last-eight since her compatriot and mentor, Martina Hingis did in 1997.

Much like the current doubles World No. 1 Hingis, Bencic too has been exhibiting brilliant hand skills and wonderful movement from a very young age and that definitely can be attributed to her coach, Melanie Molitor, who is Hingis’ mother. The ever-improving Bencic has the tools to make it big in the tennis world and it won’t be long before she sets her sights on the coveted numero uno ranking.

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A freelance journalist based in Kolkata who is a diehard Rafael Nadal fan. She is also extremely passionate about India’s progress in sports and hopes to throw light on India’s unsung sports heroes through her articles. When not screaming her lungs out in support of her favourite sports stars, she can be seen reading, watching movies or immersed in planning her next travel destination!
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