Australian Open

Bencic itching to face Serena

2017-01-14 14:01
Belinda Bencic (Getty Images)

Melbourne - A "super-pumped" Belinda Bencic says her Twitter account went into overdrive when news broke that Serena Williams will be her first opponent at the Australian Open, with the Swiss starlet itching to get on court.

The 19-year-old, a former world number seven but unseeded this year, said she can't wait to test her skills once again against the 22-time Grand Slam champion.

"It's a big match, playing against Serena Williams. It's what everyone's working for," she said Saturday.

Bencic, seen as a star of the future whose 2016 season was marred by injury, added that her fans were disappointed when they first heard the news, but she was ecstatic.

"My Twitter was blowing up. I was like, 'What's going on?' That's when I saw it," she said, explaining how she learned the American great was her opening-round opponent.

"My first reaction was actually, really happy. So I think I'm super-pumped, excited I get to play on the big court, I guess.

"Everyone is like, 'Oh, bad luck with the draw'. Me, I'm pretty happy and excited about it."

Bencic, a winner of two career titles who partnered fellow Swiss Roger Federer at the Hopman Cup this month, has form against Williams, stunning her in the 2015 Toronto semi-finals.

It was the biggest win of her career, and still vivid in her memory.

"The memories, they never go away. They're always there. The best ones, for sure," she said.

"I still remember the last game, like every point, everything. It was, for sure, my biggest win until now.

"I hope I can take this memory and put it to positive energy to be super-confident on the court, and play good."

Bencic, coached by Martina Hingis' mother Melanie Molitor, is playing her fourth Australian Open, with a fourth round appearance last year her best effort to date.

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