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January 22, 2016

Belinda Bencic

Melbourne, Victoria, Australia

B. BENCIC/K. Bondarenko

4-6, 6-2, 6-4

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. Great match today. I'm just curious where you feel like your game is overall. It was a little bit shaky at the end but you came through, across the finish line?
BELINDA BENCIC: Yeah, definitely. I'm very happy I won. I still feel there can be a lot of improvement in my game and how I can play. I see it as a positive thing, because when you lose 6-2 and you play your best, it's not good.

But I'm happy I fought through even if it wasn't perfect. Tomorrow I can have a good doubles match and practice so I can play even better.

Q. It's not over yet, but perhaps a match against Maria Sharapova in the next round. How do you take on a match like that with Maria?
BELINDA BENCIC: Well, yeah, first she has to win. Then I will see, of course. She won the first set I think, no?

So I'm very happy to play all these big players. That's what I play for. For sure, I will prepare good and just be really excited.

Q. When Martina Hingis was at the top of her game she preferred playing a doubles match than having a hard practice session between matches.
BELINDA BENCIC: I agree (Laughter.)

Q. Is that something that's come from her or...
BELINDA BENCIC: No, it's not. I mean, it's just -- no one likes to practice, I mean, when it's really hard. It's better to play doubles where can you have fun and still like you can try some things.

But of course I know it's necessary to practice. Of course I'm doing it, also. But, yeah, if you ask me like this, of course I prefer the doubles.

Q. You made a fast transition on the WTA from juniors, but I was wondering, in the last couple of years as you transition from challengers or ITF events, did you have to be very careful with your schedule as far as getting a lot of matches in at the lower level or playing the bigger events at the WTA?
BELINDA BENCIC: Well, first of all, I couldn't get a lot of matches in because we all had the age limit. So that's why it was very tough to get some serious points. I was happy I did well in the 25,000 and stuff so I could try to play quallies in WTAs.

Of course it helps when you're a good junior; you can also have a wildcard here and there. And then I made the points pretty fast. I think that's good I did that. Yeah, I think it's just really important to get away from those 25s really fast and to compete with the WTA level.

Q. Last year to now, one Australian Open to the next, 12 months later, do you feel ready and how differently do you feel now compared to 12 months ago?
BELINDA BENCIC: Well, that I won the first round (Smiling.) Yeah, I just feel like I'm not as nervous when I go to the court anymore. I mean, when I played last year I was very nervous. I didn't really know what to do on the court.

Now I got a lot of confidence. Yeah, just when I go to the court, I stay more calm and really try to think more what I have to do. For sure, I think my serve got better, which helps a lot in the game.

Q. What did you feel like was an issue last year here when you lost in the first round? Was it just a tough first-round match or do you feel you overtrained in the offseason? Where were you head space-wise?
BELINDA BENCIC: No, I played Julia Goerges and obviously she played a great Australian Open last year, as well. She played a good match against me. So it was not like I was like big favorite to beat her 6-2, 6-1.

But, yeah, I expected a more tough match. I think I didn't do things in practice as well as I should. I realized after what I have to do more, so I improved that, and then in the grass obviously I had a good start.

Q. Ana Ivanovic said that it was tough for her to be in the public eye when she was really young. How do you deal with all the attention?
BELINDA BENCIC: Yeah, of course it's not easy, but I think when you're a good junior and you have the success early, you kind of have to learn it and you have to deal with it. You just take it as a normal thing.

So I try to really stay on the ground, stay humble. I mean, just not do everything like in press, but also let your results on the court speak a lot for you. Just mainly focus on the tennis and not on how popular you are or trying to build up your image or something.

Q. What were you thinking at the end of the first set? And then it went to 2-All.
BELINDA BENCIC: It's normal in tennis, so I don't know. It happens a lot to me, stuff like this. I didn't really care a lot. I tried to play the next game. Of course I was a little bit angry, because I felt like I didn't show what I can 100%. Then I just tried to fight and stay in every game.

Q. Are you aware of your match record this last few months in three-set matches?
BELINDA BENCIC: No, but I think it's pretty good, no?

Q. I don't think you have lost one since last summer.
BELINDA BENCIC: Really? That's good. That's good. Because I was losing a lot, and then my dad and my coach were like, You don't have any fitness. You have to do this and that. (Laughter.)

Now I was like, See?

Q. Has that been the change, you feel, is the fitness level in the third set?
BELINDA BENCIC: Yeah, I don't know if it's only fitness, but also the focus and the belief that you can really play the best at the most important points and you really can't do any stupid mistake in the third set when it's 4-All.

So it's more the focus and confidence.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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