| By Long Island Tennis Magazine Staff
Photo Credit: Brian Coleman/LI Tennis Magazine


There is perhaps no player on the WTA Tour playing better tennis so far in 2019 than Switzerland’s Belinda Bencic, and that continued on Thursday as she hung on to defeat fifth-seed Karolina Pliskova 6-3, 4-6, 6-3 and reach the BNP Paribas Open semifinals in Indian Wells, Calif.

“I’m very confident. You know, I’m really just trying to take it one step at a time,” said Bencic. “Of course now it’s been a few steps more. But, you know, I’m not putting pressure on myself even now. I’m just playing.”

It has been a tough couple of years for the 22-year-old Bencic who has struggled with injuries. But to start this year, she took out four Top 10 players en route to the title in Dubai, and is now into the semifinals of Indian Wells.

“I said yesterday, the less I think on the court the better it is. When you’re confident, you can really just trust your instincts and you don’t have to think about it at all,” Bencic added. “I’m definitely playing how I feel it, and it’s going well so I’m not planning on changing that.”

In the semifinals, Bencic will take on eighth-seed Angelique Kerber, who ousted Venus Williams 7-6(3), 6-3 on Thursday.

“I was really trying, in the first set especially, to find my rhythm and play my tennis, but it was not so easy,” said Kerber. “And, to play against Venus, it’s always tough. I know this. I was expecting a tough match. I’m happy that I won the first set and then could move in and play a little bit better [in the second set.]”

The other Indian Wells semifinal will see sixth-seed Elina Svitolina take on Canadian teenager Bianca Andreescu.