Belinda Bencic US Open WTA 2021

‘It’s not normal’ – Top WTA pro Belinda Bencic reveals health struggles after victory

World number 24 Belinda Bencic is still grappling with complications of Covid despite returning to the WTA tour after contracting the virus at the end of 2021.ย 

Bencic was one of a number of pros who tested positive for the virus following the Mubadala World Tennis Championships in December last year.

The Olympic gold medallist is seemingly still struggling with the after-effects of that infection as she plays in the WTA 500 St Petersburg Ladies’ Trophy.

“I have been diagnosed with something in my lungs which is not normal,” the Swiss explained during her press conference after reaching the quarter-finals in St Petersburg.

“And still, I’m happy I can play but it’s going to take me a while to recover.

“They said about two, three months.

“I think it happens with a lot of athletes that your fitness, it’s not the same level.

“So, it’s very tough but I have to, you know, just work with what I have.”

After claiming Olympic gold in Tokyo last July, Bencic went on to reach the quarter-finals of the US Open, losing there to eventual surprise champion Emma Raducanu.

She has so far gone 5-2 on the WTA tour in 2022, but added that she has been feeling underpowered the whole time.

“It’s also what happened, in Australia,” she said.

“I kind of expected I will maybe not have the best chance to win a lot of matches, but I’m trying my best to get back to shape.”

After ousting world n umber 29 Veronika Kudermetova and Slovenian talent Kaja Juvan in her first two matches in St Petersburg, Bencic faces world number nine Anett Kontaveit for a place in the semi-finals.

The Estonian is currently on a win streak on indoor hard courts of 17, after winning two indoor WTA 500 events and a WTA 250 event consecutively in September and October last year.

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