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Bencic on Flying Swiss Flag for Roger and Stan


This US Open won't be a major Swiss miss if Belinda Bencic has her way.

The Olympic gold-medal champion opened the US Open stopping Arantxa Rus 6-4, 6-4 to charge into the second round for the fifth time in six Flushing Meadows appearances.

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The 11th-seeded Swiss is known for her sniper return, but showed snap on serve today. Bencic won 30 of 35 first-serve points and did not face a break point in a 90-minute victory on Louis Armstrong Stadium.

In the absence of five-time US Open champion Roger Federer and 2016 champion Stan Wawrinka, Bencic said Swiss women are poised to fly the nation's flag in New York.

"We have four Swiss women now in the main draw, so I think that's great," Bencic said. "I don't feel like I'm the only one that their eyes are on me. For sure I'm very happy and like proud to be kind of holding the Swiss flag up on the tournaments that Roger and Stan cannot play.

"But for me, it's not a pressure at all, because to even kind of have this chance in Switzerland, because Switzerland is a very country that has great players, so a little bit spoiled maybe in this. But I don't see this as pressure. I see it for sure as a privilege."



Tearing through the Tokyo Olympic draw, Bencic burst through the final three games out-dueling Marketa Vondrousova 7-5, 2-6, 6-3 in the Tokyo Olympics final to make history as the first Swiss woman to win the gold medal.

Bencic who partnered Federer to successive Hopman Cup championships, posted a 10-1 record overall in Tokyo joining forces with compatriot Viktorija Golubic to collect the Olympic silver medal in doubles. That run came a few weeks before Swiss Jil Teichmann broke through to the Cincinnati final. Bencic says Swiss women are inspired by Federer and Wawrinka.

"I definitely feel like I'm not the only one, and I hope we can, like, establish all of us, me, Jil Teichmann, Vickie Golubic, and Stefanie Vogele like as a kind of, yeah, all of us to be maybe like Stan and Roger," Bencic said.

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A 2019 US Open semifinalist, Bencic will face Martina Trevisan in round two and hopes she can keep riding her Olympic high.

"I'm still on cloud nine, I would say," Bencic said. "I would still say I'm on earth, you know. I realize everything. Of course I'm focusing on this tournament and just on playing well.

"But I feel like I want to be on cloud nine all the time. So I kind of, yeah, I'm very happy about it. And just I feel like these memories I will have forever. And kind of this Olympics experience, my first Olympics, and just how everything went with winning the gold, for me it's forever and for me it's probably going to be the biggest achievement I will ever have. I'm still very happy about it."

Photo credit: Garrett Ellwood/USTA/US Open

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