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February 23, 2020

Belinda Bencic

Doha, Qatar


Q. You had a few more days I guess to reflect, if you did at all, on the match in Dubai. I don't know if you did or if you just put it in a closet and moved on, but do you have a better sense of -- it sounded like you were a bit still confused as to how that match got away from you the other day.
BELINDA BENCIC: Yeah, I mean after the match I, we analyzed it, but I kind of learned quickly to move on to the next tournament. And I think it's going pretty well because we have a tournament every week, so you kind of cannot think about your last match all the time. So since I actually got here I was working hard, focusing on this tournament and not thinking about the match any more and definitely know now more what I should have done better and what I could have done more and less and we kind of analyzed it, like every match.

Q. And then this tournament is a little bit similar to kind of Canada, in terms of in Canada the cities move back and forth every year. Here the Premier 5 designation alternates between Doha and Dubai. So do you see yourself as the defending champion of Dubai or are you the defending champion, theoretically, of this event?
BELINDA BENCIC: Oh, well, definitely, yeah, of Dubai, because I played there, it's that feeling. But points-wise it's a bit confusing, yeah, because kind of my points came off last week, but then there were like less to gain and, I don't know, I'm confused so it's better if I don't even think about it and just focus really on what's on the court, what's on the tennis.

Of course it felt very nice to be back in Dubai. I mean, you know, it's just, yeah, nice to be on this tournament also because I think I haven't played here in couple of years, so it's good to be back.

Q. And how have the practices and preparation for this tournament been then in terms of how do you feel the balls, is it that much different than what it was playing like last week, how do you feel like the conditions and the surface play into your game?
BELINDA BENCIC: Yeah, I think it's definitely different, but we players are aware of that. Doha is always different than Dubai. Also we have different balls here once again. And, yeah, I've been practicing really well, I've been feeling the ball well, I feel like some things just clicked and I kind of improved a little bit more and I'm trying to find my rhythm again after the first tournament of the season being like so-so, but I feel really good now.

Q. You had your shares of injuries, how do you deal with them?

Q. You've had your share of injuries in the past. Injuries. So how do you deal with them?
BELINDA BENCIC: Well I deal with them like every other athlete, we just have to accept them and kind of see it as a part of our career journey and try the best to prevent them, of course, and, yeah, just be very patient.

Q. The Olympics is coming up. Any plans of playing with Roger at the Olympics? And he's also injured now, so any plans in the, for the future for the Tokyo games?
BELINDA BENCIC: Well, yeah, of course he's injured now, so I'm, everyone's not really happy about it, of course, you don't wish that to anyone. And I hope he recovers soon, I'm sure he will, so I don't know, we will see.

Q. At No. 4 do you see a lot of young players snapping at your heels, a lot of your colleagues, compatriots snapping at your heels. Is it very difficult to sustain your status in the top-5, do you feel a lot of pressure?
BELINDA BENCIC: Pressure from injuries now?

Q. Not from injuries. You're in the top-5, do you feel a lot of other players snapping at your heels trying to get there? Do you feel that you have to win every match to stay in that top-5? Is that that kind of pressure?
BELINDA BENCIC: No, definitely not because when I was not top-5 I was trying to get there and trying to beat the top-5 players. And now I'm finally there and now I would start to feel pressure, it wouldn't make sense. So definitely not in this mood because that's what happened last time when I was in the top-10, so now I think I definitely have the experience to learn about it and I think I became much more relaxed about everything in tennis. So, I mean, doesn't look like on the court sometimes, but I'm trying to. And, yeah, I just really appreciate more and I'm, I don't feel pressure. I'm here to win, I'm not here to lose or I don't feel -- I don't go on the court not to lose, I'm trying to win.

Q. A lot of the sporting events in China, Japan, they have been cancelled because of the current coronavirus outbreak. Has your outlook changed? I mean, going forward, I know the Asian swing is months away, as well as Tokyo, has it changed as a result of this? Are you more wary of it?
BELINDA BENCIC: Yeah, well I definitely think the whole world knows about it now. I think here everything is okay. I'm sure the WTA is monitoring where we can play, where we cannot play and how it's safe or not. And, yeah, definitely everyone has to be more careful or try to kind of prevent this and, yeah, hopefully it's going to kind of stop.

Q. Do you interact with Roger Federer frequently if you run into a problem in your matches and what kind of advice does he give you or does he tell you anything?
BELINDA BENCIC: I mean, yeah, but for sure he gives me a lot of advice, but it's not like day-to-day talking about all matches. But, yeah, definitely I feel like if I need anything he always has an open ear for me and some tips ready because of course his experience is endless. So for sure I'm really grateful for that.

Q. Any one thing which he said which kind of helps you through tournaments?
BELINDA BENCIC: I think it's very difficult to pick out only one thing, but, yeah, for sure -- it's not even a tip it's just, when he's talking about his experiences, then I can just pick out what I need and kind of learn and put that into my situation or career.

Q. You mentioned before in terms of being in this position the last time you were in top-10 and learning from that experience of expectations and pressure and all that. When you started this year, especially how well you finished last year, how do you balance, if you have to balance at all, the idea that your results give you the confidence to know that you can play a certain way and that your level's a certain place, compared to -- and balance that against then expectation -- because when you have confidence, theoretically, one has expectations.
BELINDA BENCIC: Yeah, you know, that's a lot of thinking already, so I try not to make theories in my mind and about the tennis. Tennis is not really that complicated when you don't make it complicated. So you just go on the court, you feel well, you play your game, you win, you lose, you move onto the next one. I try to think that way now. I really enjoy being on this amazing tournaments, big tournaments, getting a lot of points, making a living, doing what I love and, yeah, I mean the ranking is really just a bonus. So I was working really hard last year and playing great, but I played on the court and then the ranking just automatically kind of went up. So I'm trying not to like lose focus from the court to the ranking, like theory, and still try to stay on the court and kind of do my game. If I lose one, two spots in the ranking, like, so what, you know, I'm still trying to play and trying to play the best in every tournament and then the ranking will adjust itself, you know.

Q. You're playing doubles with Sofia Kenin here. So how do you come about and how do you look forward to it?
BELINDA BENCIC: Yeah, I'm really looking forward to it. I didn't play much doubles at all in the last tournaments, even last season, so we'll see how it goes. I'm definitely really happy she agreed to play with me. And we're good friends off the court, too -- and also she's my favorite practice partner -- so it's great and hopefully we can do well. We have tough opponents for sure.


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