Bencic back with a win

Published by Matt Trollope

Belinda Bencic's appearance in Linz is her first WTA event since April; Getty Images
Former top 10 star Belinda Bencic has made a successful return to the WTA tour, saving a match point to reach the second round in Linz.

Belinda Bencic has won her opening-round match in Linz, her first WTA tournament appearance in six months.

The 20-year-old Swiss star, a former world No.7, saved a match point to beat Kirsten Flipkens 4-6 6-2 7-6(7).

Match points came and went for both players in the final-set tiebreak before Bencic coverted her second to advance.

“I think every victory means a lot now,” she said. “Obviously I missed these emotions so much, I realised that (while I was out injured).

“This is my third tournament back, so the important thing is not that I won, but that I can finally play. And I really appreciate that, I think I appreciate it more now.”

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Bencic required surgery on her left wrist in early May and after three months off resumed training in early August.

This is the third tournament of her comeback; prior to Linz she contested two ITF events, winning the $100,000 title in St. Petersburg, Russia.

Before that, she was last sighted on court during Switzerland’s Fed Cup semifinal tie against Belarus in late April.

A wildcard in Linz, Bencic – currently ranked No.228 – next faces Spaniard Lara Arruabarrena for a place in the quarterfinals.

Other winners on Monday at the Austrian indoor hardcourt event were Johanna Larsson and Natalia Vikhlyantseva.

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