Belinda Bencic – Preparing for Wimbledon 2016

Belinda Bencic, the reigning Teen Queen on the WTA Tour, is back from injury in the Netherlands this week.

Switzerland’s Belinda Bencic, following about a two-month layoff, is back on tour and winning watches. The current World No. 8 remains the highest-ranked teenager despite the layoff that forced her to miss the French Open. Currently she’s the top seed in a grass-court tournament in the Netherlands with a solid chance of winning the title.

Bencic has won both of her first two matches of that tournament in three sets, defeating Alison Van Uytvanck and Varvara Lepchenko thus far at the WTA International event. Judging by the scores, Bencic might not be at her very best right now as she did flirt with elimination in the first round. That she’s a little bit off returning from injury is an opinion that she voiced recently:

“My level is still not there where I want it to be,” Bencic claimed after beating Lepchenko. “I don’t think it was a really good match from my side. But all I could do myself was just to fight and keep going. That’s what I’m trying every day so I’m just hoping to improve.”

Even if she is not playing to her normal level right now, a sub-par Bencic should be able to work with the draw she has in the Netherlands. Next up is Viktorija Golubic and then no one more proven than a potentially-tired Kristina Mladenovic. The latter was very active at the French Open as she won the doubles tournament partnered with Caroline Garcia. Mladenovic did not have a lot of rest ahead of having to start her grass-court season and that may catch up to her soon.

Coco Vandeweghe is the highest-ranked player alive on the bottom half of the draw. There could be a final looming between the American and Bencic this weekend, one that could show us just where the Swiss player is at right now. That’s an important question with Wimbledon looming, because Bencic is a player who is capable of doing some real damage in the women’s singles draw.

She won the tournament as a junior in 2013 and there are definitely some implications involved with that. For example, Eugenie Bouchard won as a junior in 2012 and she made the senior’s final two years later.

If she can stay healthy then Bencic should be able to improve on her 2015 showing at Wimbledon. That tournament saw her make the fourth round with a quarterfinal showing at the 2014 US Open her best major to date. The WTA event in the Netherlands continues through the weekend with Wimbledon to start very late this month, on June 27th.

Shane Lambert