September 6, 2021
New York, New York, USA
B. BENCIC/I. Swiatek
THE MODERATOR: Give us your thoughts on the victory today.
BELINDA BENCIC: Yeah, very happy to be through. Of course it was a very difficult match. Very close tiebreak. So it was very important I think to win that first set and then start well into the second.
I'm happy with how I fought. I felt like I could have played a little bit better, but of course Iga is a player who doesn't make it easy for you.
Yeah, it was just a tricky match overall, so very happy.
THE MODERATOR: Questions?
Q. There have been a number of marathon matches at the Open this year, including yours today. To what do you attribute that? Quality of the field? The fact that the fans are back?
BELINDA BENCIC: Yeah, could be a little bit of both, for sure. I think the field is very even, especially on the women's side, I would say. Maybe this year's US Open also a lot of men's seeded players have lost and a lot of five-set matches.
I also definitely feel like it could be the crowd, because it always brings you back into the match and they always want the person that's losing, they always like cheer them on. I definitely feel this is the first time like to have a big crowd again for us. So it's very motivating, and maybe sometimes when you don't play with people, it can a little bit slip away from you the match. Like this, maybe you fight more, I think (smiling).
Q. Of course we don't know which of the two players who will be in your next match for the quarterfinals, but it could be Shelby Rogers or Emma Raducanu. How would you describe for Shelby and the challenge and then perhaps move on to Emma.
BELINDA BENCIC: Yeah, both of them are amazing players. They are in the fourth round. I played Shelby in Cincinnati earlier, I mean the tournament before here. So she's very tricky, has a great serve. It's very hard to kind of find the rhythm with her, you know, with the rallies.
Then with Emma, of course she's up and coming and amazing talent. I didn't see much yet how she played, but what I saw is definitely she's very athletic, she's moving great, and, I mean, she has great results.
So for sure I'll watch the match, and like do the tactics and kind of analyze both.
Q. Follow-up about Shelby, how much did you have an opportunity to see her match against Ash Barty? What are your thoughts on the run she's had here so far?
BELINDA BENCIC: Yeah, unfortunately I didn't see the match against Ash Barty, but then of course I saw the highlights and everything. It was very emotional. It was goose bumps feeling, you know, how the crowd supported her, she's the last American woman standing.
For sure it's a big hope for her and just a very nice story. She definitely deserve it. She had some setbacks too with injuries. I'm always very happy if it's a very nice story, and also she's a very nice person. I'm very happy for how it's going, and I'll definitely watch the match tonight. Or not tonight but now (laughter).
Q. It seemed like you came out, especially very early in the match and through the first set, with a very clear game plan you wanted to take against Iga. How much of that was what you learned from your guys' match in Adelaide and if you could talk about how you approached playing this match.
BELINDA BENCIC: Yeah, definitely had an idea, you know, what she was going to do, what her plan would be. And then also I was telling myself I improved a lot in certain areas of my game, which then makes the tactic for her a little bit different again.
And then she kind of had to adjust that mid-match. I was kind of prepared for this, so I'm happy that worked well.
For sure, you know, you kind of want to take the experience from the last match, you know how it feels to play her. But then you don't really kind of want to, you know, take the result as like how it's going to be, because you can never really rely on the past result for the next match. Especially, you know, how it's always up and down, the conditions is different. Every match is just different, and it can be one week and then the next week and it's a complete different match.
Yeah, just took the positives out of it what I can take, but then took it as a new match.
Q. You were obviously returning so well, seemed like early, putting a lot of pressure on her service game. She started to work in a little bit more variety as the set wore on with more loop and high balls and things. What were you telling yourself as she started to adjust a little bit her game style towards the end to kind of get that massive first set?
BELINDA BENCIC: Yeah, of course it was very important. It's true, you know, she was serving a certain way, and then I was, you know, finding my returns very well.
Then she kind of adjusted and had great serving. I definitely expected that. She's a top-10 player. She knows how to serve, has a plan A, plan B, plan C.
Yeah, I think it was important I kind of took that away from her a little bit and put her under pressure, because my serve is pretty good, and I felt very good on my service games.
Yeah, I mean, it was important. It was very important the first set. And it would be also, it's mentally important because you know when you lose a set like this, it's very frustrating. Yeah, a little bit bitter, you know, to lose a set like this.
Then I started to kind of focus on the next set and try to, you know, go up again quickly, so I put pressure on her again.
Q. Obviously you're a former semifinalist here and have that experience of going deep at this event. How much do you feel that's helping you this time around in terms of managing, you know, today's match, the next match? This isn't necessarily unchartered territory for you at this point in New York. So do you feel that?
BELINDA BENCIC: Yeah, I definitely feel that. I feel like here I have had kind of my first big successes in a Grand Slam. I was 17 when I made my first quarterfinal, so that also kind of gave me this idea. I definitely feel like it's just adding to the experiences, you know.
I feel like from all of these situations you can always learn something. Now I definitely learn, you know, how it is to be in the second week, how to manage these quarterfinals, semifinals matches.
I also feel Olympics helped me a lot in this, I played big matches there, as well, and I kind of know now how it feels, you know, to go for, yeah, to go deep in a tournament and an important tournament.
Yeah, it definitely feels good (smiling).
FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports