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February 11, 2021

Belinda Bencic

Melbourne, Victoria, Australia

Press Conference

B. BENCIC/S. Kuznetsova

7-5, 2-6, 6-4

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. Tell us about the match today.

BELINDA BENCIC: Well, yeah, it was a tough match, as I expected against Kuznetsova. We always have three-set matches. We played a couple of times.

For sure, I was watching the tactic a lot of times to play against her. Yeah, I mean, I was happy with the way I fought, super happy about the win of course.

But, yeah, it was not easy out there. I just tried to tough it out.

Q. What do you think the fact that the tournament is being played and there are fans in the stands might mean in terms of hope for the rest of the world?

BELINDA BENCIC: Well, first of all, in the eyes of a tennis player, I'm super happy we have the opportunity to play, of course, and we have the opportunity to play our job, even if not 100% perfect conditions, but still...

The tournaments are trying their hardest to create this opportunity for us, so we are super grateful about it. I think every player is.

Of course, around the world I think there's many people suffering. Yeah, many people are not having the perfect ideal life right now. Yeah, I'm still aware of that. I'm aware that tennis probably is not the most important thing right now. I mean, it's not always, but right now even less.

Yeah, but I still hope we can, you know, bring little bit joy to the people here and little bit entertainment to the fans that love to watch tennis, that we can entertain them. Yeah, otherwise I just hope for everyone this is over soon and everyone can continue their normal lives.

Yeah, for sure I feel like this. I think we all have to have hope.

Q. Can you give us a preview of your next match against Mertens.

BELINDA BENCIC: Yeah, I definitely think she's a very consistent and solid player. I haven't played her before. I played her in juniors, but not in WTA yet. Yeah, I'm looking forward to the match. I will definitely relax my mind today and tomorrow and just get back focusing tomorrow evening and try to find a tactic against her and a game plan.

Q. What do you think you'll have to do against Elise, and how hard will it be, you've been in hard lockdown, she comes out of winning the first tournament of the year, so how tough of a challenge would it be?

BELINDA BENCIC: Yeah, I mean, definitely a challenge. I definitely don't consider myself as a favorite, not against her and not in these rounds, as well. I'm just here. I'm just playing with what I can.

Of course, I know she's probably confident here. It doesn't matter. I think every match starts from zero. I will try my best to put the best performance I can do and be happy with myself and give it all on the court. If it's enough, it's enough. If not, then I take it and I go back to work.

Q. You know her from juniors. Have you been surprised how she played since the end of the first lockdown in August? She's the player who won the most matches.

BELINDA BENCIC: No, I'm not surprised. I think she's a great player.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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