Tokyo (AFP) – Switzerland won a gold medal in singles tennis at the Olympic Games. And the person who hung it around his neck wasn’t Roger Federer or Stan Wawrinka.
Belinda Bencic accomplished something on Saturday that neither of her two most famous compatriots have accomplished.
He warns that it is not over yet.
After finishing 12th in the world rankings, Bencic beat Czech Marketa Vondrosova 7-5, 2-6, 6-3 in Tokyo to win the most relevant title of her career. And this Sunday, the doubles final will be played.
Bencic and her compatriot Viktoria Polobich will clash with Barbora Krejkova and Katerina Sinyakova.
“It’s incredible to have two medals, to have one gold and one to be decided,” Bencic commented. “I’ll put in all the energy I have left.”
Federer and Wawrinka won the gold medal together in the 2008 Beijing doubles. Four years later, in London, Federer lost the singles final to local Andy Murray at Wimbledon.
Even Martina Hingis, the Swiss who inspired Bencic to pursue a career in tennis, has yet to win an Olympic title. His best result was silver in the doubles in 2016, with Timea Baksinski.
Hingis’ mother, Melanie Molitor, was Bencic’s coach in the youth classes.
“I think I did it for them,” Bencic said. “They have done a lot in their careers. I don’t think I will be able to achieve what they have accomplished. So this medal goes to Martina and Roger.”
Marc Rosset was the only Swiss to win a gold medal in singles at the 1992 Barcelona Olympics.
Neither Federer nor Wawrinka participated in Tokyo.
Bencic’s best ever result was the semi-finals of the 2019 US Open.
He retired from court on medical grounds in the middle of the third inning. His right toe was examined, apparently for a blister.
However, he returned and did not seem to be upset by the discomfort.
When Vondrosova’s return passed with a long backhand on Bencic’s second game point, the Swiss collapsed onto her back, before taking off the ball.
“I don’t really know how this worked for me,” he said. “I really believed in myself a lot.”
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