Belinda Bencic's first-round win at Wimbledon on Tuesday was her second early Grand Slam scalp of 2018. The world No. 56 ousted sixth-seeded Caroline Garcia, 7-6 (2), 6-3 in a match that appeared to be business as usual, with a few nerves at the very end.
"Very relieved. Of course, first round, and—you never know what happens," Bencic said. "I had 5-2 and then she holds a very tough game. I was pretty nervous to go out there and serve it out. It's already relief when you win no matter who you play."
At the Australian Open earlier this year, the Swiss stunned Venus Williams in the first round, but didn't get very far, losing her next match. Still very young at just 21, Bencic is on the long comeback trail to the Top 10 after undergoing wrist surgery last spring.
The former world No. 7 returned in September to the ITF circuit with a ranking outside of the Top 300. She quickly won four tournaments including two $100,000s, one $115,000 and two WTA $125K series crowns.
The former world No. 7 injury troubles didn't disappear with the start of the new season. In March, she dealt with a pre-stress fracture in her foot, playing just three events after Indian Wells (Roland Garros, 's-Hertogenbosh and an ITF in Ilkey). In Ilkey, just before coming to the All England Club, she retired while down, 6-2, 2-0. Her record going into Wimbledon (including two Fed Cup losses) was 4-8.
"My confidence cannot be, like, amazing but I think it was good. I was practicing good this week," Bencic said in London. "I'm feeling my game coming better and better. In Paris it was, like, zero from 100, you know. And 's-Hertogenbosch got better and then I got more confidence."
The grass certainly suits her game, and she'll use that advantage and take her budding confidence into her second round against American Alison Riske. As for injuries, there are none to speak of—for now.
"Now it's good. I have zero concerns," Bencic said. "But, you know, guys, you always ask that and I say, Oh, it's good now, and then I get injured again."
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