Belinda Bencic has surprised the whole world throughout the last week. The Swiss player came at a time in a totally earthly way, without being, far from it, in the pools to get a medal in the Tokyo Olympics 2021, not to mention a possible gold. However, the circuit WTA sometimes it takes us down completely unimaginable paths, elevating tennis players with the game and the head necessary to win despite not being in their best form.
Bencic, however, knew what he was capable of. He was confident in his abilities and in his previous baggage before a final that could be unforgettable. In the swing of emotions, changes of dynamics and different states of mind in which the match for the Olympic gold became, it was she who triumphed. Did knowing how to suffer, saving a break ball when he served for the game, drawing strength from weakness where there was practically nothing. This is how he told it for Tagblatt, showing the joy of those who have given the most precious metal to an entire country.
“I was at the limit of my strength, of my endurance. I couldn’t think clearly, he couldn’t think correctly, he was just trying to pass the ball to the other side of the net. However, I wanted to achieve my dream: that’s why I played like it was the last game of my life. I would have felt like a winner even if I had lost because I gave absolutely everything, and that makes me very proud. I still need time to digest all this, I will do it after the doubles final, where I will give it my all again for Vicky (Viktorija Golubic, her partner). These are memories that will last a lifetime. “
Contextualize gold, within what it means for Swiss, gives even more value to what Bencic has done. The Central European country had only achieved two gold medals in tennis since the modality became Olympic again: only one of those golds was given in an individual category (Marc rosset in Barcelona’92). That is to say: Belinda has achieved something that neither Roger Federer, neither Stan Wawrinka nor Martina Hingis have been able to achieve. A show of courage that left Bencic stunned … although he already had the ‘blessing’ of someone very important.
“Roger texted me this morning. He told me today was a good day to fulfill my dreams. It made me very happy: all this also goes for Martina and Roger, they have achieved many things that I will never be able to achieve. That is why this victory is also for Martina and Roger “, admitted a smiling Bencic, aware of the burden of the feat and what it means for a country full of great champions.
With more momentum than fatigue and an unrepeatable career
The infernal rhythm of the Games for those tennis players who decide to play more than one modality forced Bencic to redouble efforts for several days. This has not been an impediment for the Swiss to sign un doublet of golds that only a few have the pride of having signed (the last one, Serena Williams in London 2012). “Giving up has never been an option. I knew that only medals count in the Olympics, but for me the simple fact of being here is already a dream. Now I am very happy to say that I have achieved it.”
Finally, it is worth reflecting on a career which has just (for the moment) reached its zenith. Designated by experts as one of the future great dominators of the circuit, her tennis has dazzled on many occasions, but injuries and irregularity have penalized a player who has never reached the level of many of her contemporaries. Where does Olympic gold leave Belinda Bencic in the future?
“I wouldn’t trade my career for nothing. There are always ups and downs and I think they are totally normal. Sometimes it has seemed somewhat unfair to see someone discard me, because setbacks happen in any tennis career. I have always worked hard; even if he had never earned a professional title, he would have that certainty. Now I have been rewarded for my work, and I am incredibly grateful to all those who have helped me make it possible. “