Just a year ago, she was on her way to winning the Wimbledon junior title.
Today, Belinda Bencic is through to her first grand slam third round and is set to take on No.3 seed Simona Halep for a spot in the second week.
Considered she was ranked 300 spots below her current ranking of 71 this time last year, Bencic’s rapid rise has been phenomenal, particularly for a 17-year-old who has the added pressure of being dubbed the “New Martina Hingis”.
“I’m motivated that Switzerland is thinking this of me. I’m really motivated to do better,” said Bencic.
“I don’t really try to let the pressure come to me. I just focus on the game.
“It all went really quick. I don’t know if it’s a surprise or not. I’m really happy that I could start in the main draw here after winning the juniors last year.”
Halep will be Bencic’s third top-five opponent of the season and the young Swiss says she’s looking forward to facing the Roland Garros runner-up.
“She played the French Open final and she’s the third seed here. So I’m really just happy to play her,” said Bencic.
“No pressure tomorrow. I will just play my best game. Of course I’m going to the court and I think I have a chance to beat her and I really want to win.”
Halep acknowledges she is a heavy favourite against her opponent but the Romanian herself had never made it past the second round at major prior to last year’s US Open and says she wants to enjoy her first third round experience at the All England Club.
“She has nothing to lose against me. Also, I have nothing to lose because it’s my first time in the third round here in Wimbledon. On grass it’s always difficult to play. So I have my chance tomorrow. I will fight for it,” said Halep.
Meanwhile, despite Spain’s early exit from this year’s World Cup, the action in Brazil has been a nice distraction for Rafael Nadal, who faces Mikhail Kukushkin in the third round today.
The world No1, who was stretched to four sets in each of his first two rounds, says he relishes the change in routine he gets to enjoy during Wimbledon, particularly in a World Cup year.
“It’s easier (to switch off between my matches) when it is a World Cup year,” said the two-time Wimbledon champion.
“We are in a nice house. I have my coaches here. I have Marc Lopez with me at the house. I have my team. We play little bit of different games. Maybe one day we go out.
“But seriously we go to restaurants every single day of the rest of the year. So when we are here I like to cook, I like to be a little bit more relaxed at home and see the World Cup. I love football.”