After more than two months on the road and living in the tennis COVID travel bubble, a mounting baggage problem is starting to weigh on Belinda Bencic.
The sixth seed and 2019 champion at the WTA event in Dubai advanced to the third round on Tuesday with a 6-4, 5-7, 6-4 defeat of Russian Veronika Kudermetova.
But the Swiss winner admitted that her travels from Europe to Australia to Doha and now Dubai have left her with too much to cart around.
With entry to Switzerland usually subject to a 10-day home quarantine, returning next week is out of the question with the Miami Masters starting in a fortnight.
So, the No. 12 is preparing to ship some excess luggage to Switzerland before crossing the Atlantic.
“The most difficult thing: I have 10 bags already and I have to send something home from here, then go to Miami” she said.
“It’s not possible to travel with so much.”
Bencic is looking forward to the return match in Doha for friend and compatriot Roger Federer, who will open in the second round at his ATP event on Wednesday, the 24th birthday of Bencic.
The pair have a close bond after combining in win back-to-back Hopman Cup titles in 2018 and 2019.
“Roger coming back is exciting for everyone, we are all counting the days,” she said. “And he’s coming back on my birthday.”
Bencic beat Kudermetova with a dozen aces but also had 11 double-faults in what turned into a struggle.
“It’s tough to play her in general, we always have three-setters,” Bencic said..
“Sometimes you have chances and she makes a great serve or a winner.
It’s difficult not to doubt yourself sometimes.:
“I managed to stay calm in the important moments, I told myself this is how it goes.
“Sometimes you have to go the long way around, I’m happy how I handled the match mentally.”
Bencic will on Wednesday face Russian Anastasia Potapova, who beat Madison Keys 6-4, 6-3.
Main photo:- Bencic will team up with Roger Federer again after winning Hopman Cup together in 2018 and 2019