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By Chris Oddo | @TheFanChild | Friday, December 30, 2022

When Swiss legend Roger Federer was young, he struggled to find emotional balance on the court, overheating at times and, when he tried to correct his behavior, lacking the proper competitive intensity at others. Eventually, the Swiss legend learned to balance things properly, and created that icy cool demeanor that bubbled up for competitive moments.

It took him to 20 Grand Slam titles and over 300 weeks at No.1.

Tennis Express

Belinda Bencic is hoping to find the same formula, and is working at it with her new coach Dmitry Tursunov.

“I mean, the balance is the key, I think,” she said on Thursday at United Cup. “Sometimes you can basically be moaning about everything and just spiraling yourself down, and sometimes just to let it out and kind of to scream it out or, I don't know, to do something, it can feel very good.

“For me, personally, when I feel angry I feel more aggressive, more brave, and I start playing better. It's about finding this right balance.”

Bencic admits it is a work in progress, but one that she is embracing.

“For sure I'm looking to be calmer and, like, working on it constantly,” she said. “So I definitely feel like the big matches that I have won or like the big things or tournaments I've definitely kind of like been in this flow moments of just like focusing, but being feisty but still being positive.”

A Treat to Have Wawrinka as Captain

Bencic, who defeated Yulia Putintseva to give Switzerland a 1-0 lead on Thursday (Switzerland clinched victory on Friday when Wawrinka defeated Alexander Bublik), says that having Stan Wawrinka as team captain is an added bonus at her first event of 2023.

“Having both of them, like Dmitry and Stan there, obviously Dmitry was a top player himself and then Stan of course multiple Grand Slam champion; how can it go wrong when you have two people like that on the bench?” she said. “It's not really like I can tell them, ‘I know what I'm doing, stop talking to me.’ That's definitely not like how it's going to be.”

37-year-old Wawrinka was very vocal on Thursday, encouraging Bencic, as well as Marc-Andrea Heusler, who also was victorious.

Bencic says he is a perfect fit for the team.

“Tactic-wise, obviously he sees the game and everything, and he's telling me in that case, but also, he was really positive and like pumping every point,” she said. “I think that's how it should be. I feel like we were used to each other very quickly.”