Bencic cracks top 10, and other snippets …

Published by Tennismash

Belinda Bencic in action for Switzerland in Fed Cup, February 2016; Getty Images

Belinda Bencic has continued her march up the rankings, cracking the top 10 this week after her run to the St Petersburg Ladies Trophy final. The Swiss teen, just 18 years of age, rose to world No.9 on Monday; just 12 months ago, she was ranked 37th. Yet since then, she has claimed Premier-level titles in Eastbourne and Toronto and established herself as one of the sport’s brightest prospects. “As a small kid, everyone is dreaming to one day become top 10,” Bencic said. “I now realise that all the hard work paid off. Until now, I didn’t know if I would make it. But this is an amazing moment for me and just … my dream. My goal is reached.”

Meanwhile, Martina Hingis and Sania Mirza took their winning streak to 40 with victory in the doubles event in St Petersburg. “SanTina”, as they’ve come to be known, took their record in 2016 to a perfect 18-0 and four WTA titles with a 6-3 6-1 win over Vera Dushevina and Barbora Krejcikova. Hingis and Mirza have not been defeated since Cincinnati in August 2015, and have gone on to win nine straight tournaments together.

In men’s news, Nicolas Almagro‘s semifinal victory over David Ferrer at the ATP Argentina Open in Buenos Aires was his first win over his fellow Spaniard in 16 attempts. Almagro had lost 15 straight matches to Ferrer dating back to 2006, but in their first meeting in two years, Almagro finally halted the tide. “This is the reward for many months of hard work, but there’s no time to celebrate. I have to focus on tomorrow’s match and hopefully I can play at the same level,” he said. Almagro ultimately went down to Dominic Thiem in a thrilling final that extended to a third-set tiebreak.

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