Sport Tennis Bencic living the tennis dream in New York

Bencic living the tennis dream in New York

Belinda Bencic is into the US Open semi-finals. Photo: Getty
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Elsewhere, Belinda Bencic is two wins away from becoming the first Swiss woman since Martina Hingis 20 years ago to snare a major singles crown after continuing her magical US Open run in New York.

The former child prodigy has dreamed of winning grand slams and being world No.1 ever since her parents begged Hingis’s mother to coach her at four years of age.

Bencic backed up her stunning fourth-round elimination of world No.1 Naomi Osaka with a 7-6 (7-5) 6-3 quarter-final triumph over good friend Donna Vekic on Wednesday.

The 22-year-old’s breakthrough is all the more satisfying after Bencic plummeted from seventh in the world to out of the top 300 in 2017 following wrist surgery.

“I was dreaming, of course, about this day coming, but you never know what’s going to happen,” she said.

“You’re not thinking about it. You’re just right in the moment. Either you’re practising or focusing on your match.

“I worked hard for this. It’s not like I never imagined I could do this. Still, like, I stayed in the moment. Yeah, very nice feeling.”

The 12th seed is Switzerland’s last hope in the singles following the quarter-final exits on Tuesday of men’s heavyweights Roger Federer and Stan Wawrinka.

“This is not a good thing. I’m not happy about this actually,” Bencic said.

“Yeah, I’m kind of surprised, like I think everyone is. It would be really nice if the boys could also make it to semi-finals. But I’m happy I can kind of do it for them and don’t let them down.”

Bencic will play the winner of Wednesday night’s semi-final between Canadian 15th seed Bianca Andreescu and Belgian Elise Mertens.

“I will definitely watch their match tonight. I think it will be an entertaining match with lots of long rallies,” Bencic said.

“For sure Andreescu has a lot of variation in her game. Mertens is more like a wall-type of game. She’s a great counter-puncher.

“Definitely I’m very curious who is going to win and adapt to the opponent in the semi-finals.”