Every player tries to separate themselves from the pack on the path to greatness. Rising up the ranks involves constant battles against individuals with similar drive, commitment and goals. Yet there is a constant complaint among fans about uniformity: Why do so many players have similar styles? Where's the originality? Can we get some distinction and flair?


Rest assured, tennis fans, Belinda Bencic and Ons Jabeur have you covered on all of those fronts. The finalists of the 2022 WTA Charleston Open joined Kamau Murray on the Podcast this week to discuss their unique playing styles, the moments they live for, and some of their dos and don'ts for life as a traveling pro.

For Bencic, her uniqueness starts with the way she glides around the court.

"It's an advantage that I play different. People don't expect it," the Swiss mainstay stated.

And while Bencic has had some highs and lows during her pro career, she just turned 25 and is turning the corner in both her play and health. She now has the perspective of being on the outside of the tennis world to fully appreciate how much she loves being at the center of the action.

No moment can compare to her Olympic triumph in Tokyo. In 2021 she conquered the world's best to capture the gold medal for Switzerland, and in an instant became a national legend.

"I was nervous, but like a different kind of nervous," Bencic said reflecting back on her storybook run. "I knew that I'm gonna step on that court and be an Olympian forever."


As for Jabeur, she is simply one of kind by any metric. Her eccentric style of play, the variety she uses with her shot selection, and a penchant for the dramatic has made her must-see TV. She came within one ranking spot of the WTA Finals last year, and is itching to get going on her favorite surface, clay.

"I love the sliding a lot, and that the drop shots don't go that high," the Tunisian reasoned. "I just love the dirt, you know?"

Jabeur touched on a variety of topics she hasn't really opened up about in the past, from her large perfume collection to dealing with Ramadan as a professional athlete. She's a devout Muslim, but has a system of "atonement" in which she prays for permission during competitive tennis weeks and makes up through fasting when feasible.

This podcast is a fascinating look at two players who decided to put their own spin on the world of professional sports, and if their recent results are any indication, there's one way to bake a cake. Or play a tennis a match.