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Published: 09:22 | 13/6/18

High expectations risking recovery, admits Bencic


Former World top ten player Belinda Bencic admits she is often too tough on herself as she continues her recovery from a series of injury setbacks.

The 21-year-old former world junior no.1 has had a catalogue of injury woes since becoming at just 18 the youngest player to break into the top ten in a decade.

A back problem led to several months off the tour in 2016, then a stress fracture of he wrist set her recovery back six months. Earlier this year she had to withdraw from the Australian Open with a foot injury after beating Venus Williams in the first round.

She showed her recovery was on track as she reached the French Open third round and now is hoping the grass court season - her favoured surface - will propel her from a lowly 61 in the world rankings.

Bencic beat Czech Tereza Martincova in straight sets in her first round match in the Libema Open in Den Bosch and today faces Russian Veronika Kudermetova, which will be shown live on BT Sport 1 from 10am Irish time.

"The last few months have been difficult," she told WTA Tennis. "I'm looking out for my body but I'm trying to get fit and trying to get the match play. That's the first thing that goes away, the eyes, the timing. That's really tough. You can only get it back in matches. In practice you cannot simulate it."

"That happens when you play a lot of matches. That feeling always comes back when you're playing five or six matches in one tournament and playing the finals. You don't really think anymore. It happens automatically. 

"Sometimes I'm too tough on myself and I'm comparing myself with my best, when I was playing a lot of matches and in rhythm.That's not fair.

"The thing is, I always try to be perfect in practice or in matches and you always have high expectations because you always remember how you played when you were at your best. 

"So then you always compare yourself with that and that is very dangerous because it can destroy you, because you play a few days at your best and other times you play but win with the fight. 

"It's important for me that I remember that I'm just playing and even if I play bad, at least I'm playing. That's good. I have to remind myself this." 

The WTA Libema Open from s-Hertogenbosch, the Netherlands will be shown live on BT Sport on the eir sport pack between 11-17 June. 

Image: Getty Images/ Adam Pretty

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