Belinda Bencic made a triumphant return to competition in St. Petersburg, winning the ITF $100,000 event. The 20-year-old Swiss was playing her first tournament since having surgery on her left wrist, which had sidelined her since the beginning of the clay-court season.
Bencic had not won back-to-back matches on the WTA tour this season before her layoff, but says she is enjoying competition more now.
“I think it was a good lesson for me that I had this injury,” Bencic was quoted as saying by the WTA website. “When I played first point, I was smiling because I was back playing.”
Bencic cracked the Top 10 in 2016, but has had repeated injury problems since, and also changed her coaching team. The win returns Bencic to the Top 200 in the world rankings.
As Bencic returns, compatriot Timea Bacsinszky is announcing that she will not be playing the rest of the season because of a right hand injury. The 28-year-old will undergo a "small surgical procedure" on the problem.