Neither Federer nor Wawrinka: Bencic wins gold for Switzerland
Posted On July 31, 2021
A Swiss tennis player won singles gold at the Olympics and it’s not Roger Federer or Stan Wawrinka. Belinda Bencic accomplished something on Saturday that her best-known Swiss compatriots have never achieved.
And she hasn’t finished yet.
Bencic, 12th, beat Czech Marketa Vondrousova 7-5, 2-6, 6-3 at the Tokyo Games to win the first major title of her career and she will also play in the women’s doubles gold medal match on Sunday. .
Bencic and his Swiss partner Viktorija Golubic will face the Czech seeds Barbora Krejcikova and Katerina Siniakova.
“It’s amazing to have two medals, to have a gold medal and the other one yet to be decided,” said Bencic. “I will give all the energy I have left with me.”
Federer and Wawrinka won gold together in men’s doubles in 2008, then Federer lost the singles final in 2012 to Andy Murray at Wimbledon.
Even Martina Hingis, the Swiss player who inspired Bencic’s career, failed to win an Olympic title. Her best result was silver in women’s doubles in 2016 with Timea Bacsinszky.
Melanie Molitor, Hingis’ mother, coached Bencic as a junior.
“I think I accomplished it for them,” Bencic said. “They’ve done so much in their careers. I don’t think I’ll ever be able to accomplish what they’ve done. So it’s for Martina and Roger.”
Marc Rosset was the only former Swiss player to win gold in the Olympic singles in 1992.
Neither Federer nor Wawrinka participated in the Tokyo Games.
Bencic’s previous best result was reaching the semi-finals of the 2019 US Open.
Bencic took a medical time out midway through the third set to get treatment for the big toe on his right foot for an apparent blister. But she came back and didn’t seem confused.
When a backhand return from Vondrousova sailed for a long time on Bencic’s second match point, Bencic fell onto the pitch on his back before the ball even landed.
“I really don’t know how it worked for me,” Bencic said. “I really trusted myself.”