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Australian Open. Breakthrough Seven years after the hack.

LESS PRESSURE: Belinda Bencic finally wants to play at Grand Slams

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Seven years ago, Belinda Bencic rose to 7th in the world rankings in Australia. Seven years after this breakthrough, the ultimate hack should – finally – work.

Sure: Belinda Bencic won the gold medal at the 2021 Summer Olympics in Tokyo. But winning Grand Slam tournaments is bad for a player of her caliber.

In 27 Grand Slam tournaments since breaking into the top 10, she has lost 17 times in the first week of a tournament, and has only survived 3 times in the first week (along with a semi-final spot at the 2019 US Open). Bencic has missed seven times, either through injury – or because the starting order wasn’t good enough.

In January 2023, there were clear signs that Bencic could finally fulfill his claims to Grand Slam tournaments – without exaggerating the first victories against Viktoriya Tomova (WTA 92) and Claire Liu (WTA 62). First: Bencic is playing really well. Secondly, you are working with a new coach (Dmitry Turzunov) who knows how to win. Third: Belinda Bencic thinks she can win a Grand Slam tournament – or more precisely: the 2023 Australian Open.

Everything has already been hit

In principle, Bencic should have known this for a long time. There are currently no top 10 players whom she has not really beaten – and only against Daria Kasatkina, who was eliminated in Melbourne, does she have a negative record (2: 3). In addition, the world rankings are teeming with lower-ranked players who have all won major tournaments (Andreescu, Asarenka, Halep, Kenin, Kvitova, Muguruza, Ostapenko, Radukano, Rybakina, Stevens).

The new coach

The new coach is one of the reasons this should not happen again. Russian Dmitry Tursunov (40 years old) has accompanied the Swiss since mid-October. In 2006, Tursunov reached No. 20 in the ATP World Ranking and ended his active career in 2017. Since then he has been working quite successfully as a women’s coach. He has knocked Aryna Sabalenka out of the top 100 into the top 10 of the world rankings. Then, under his leadership, Estonian Anett Kontaveit also improved from the top 30 to second place.

Bencic stole Torsono from Britain’s Emma Raducano. Last summer she expressed interest in Tursunov. In the fall, Tursunov reported that it was now available. أولاً في أيام التدريب في براتيسلافا وبعد ذلك في البطولة في غوادالاخارا ، تدربوا على العمل معًا. In Mexico, Bencic lost the round of 16 to American Sloane Stephens. Since then, she has rarely left the field as a loser.

12:1 wins

Four wins in the World Team Championships, a 1-1 record in the United Cup, then five wins in Adelaide and now two wins in Melbourne: Bencic has won 12 of his last 13 singles matches. In Adelaide, she defeated three top 10 players. The only loss in the past three months put her against world number one Iga Swiatek. “And I have chances in this match as well,” Bencic said.

من الواضح أن Tursunow جيد لتنس Bencic: أخيرًا مدرب لا ينتمي إلى العائلة أو البيئة المباشرة – شخص يجبرهم أحيانًا على الخروج من واحة الرفاهية الخاصة بهم. But Tursunov is also good for Bencic’s self-confidence: because he left Emma Raducanu to work with her. لأن Bencic يشعر أن Tursunow ، الذي عمل فقط مع اللاعبين الأصغر سناً حتى الآن ، قد أدرك إمكاناتهم غير المستغلة.

How did Tursunov manage to cap Benicic’s tennis success in such a short time? Belinda Bencic: “He helped me with my game. It brings new ideas. I also want to hear new things, after years of thinking I didn’t want to change anything in my game. Dimitri (Torsono) is consciously tries to break years of routine. “

So far this has worked. But Bencic also knows: The tough pivots at the Australian Open are yet to come.

Thing