Tokyo Olympic gold medalist Belinda Bencic is struggling to absorb all the good fortune after completing the greatest week of her tennis career.
The 24-year-old Swiss who defeated Czech Marketa Vondrousova in the gold medal singles final, fell on Sunday alongside partner Viktorija Golubic in the doubles final to Czechs Barbora Krejcikova and Katerina Siniakova.
But it’s all still something of a dream to Bencic, ranked 12th in the world.
“We are going to take time to let this all sink in. But to sum up: For me this is the very best that has happened to me in my tennis career,” she said.
“Diploma, medal or title are things, memories are what last forever; what we have together is unbelievable. “
Bencic said that playing a role in the reduced Swiss Olympic side – Roger Federer, Stan Wawrinka and Jil Teichmann were all missing through injury – was its own thrill.
“For me it was unbelievable to go to the opening ceremony, that was the greatest at that moment.
“I had chicken skin (goosebumps) when we arrived there as Team Switzerland.”
She said that the emotional magnitude of her Saturday singles triumph spilled over into the losing doubles final.
“Yesterday I was already very upset emotionally but things continued for me; I wanted to show that in this match.
“I certainly didn’t play the best doubles, Viki did almost everything alone against two, she pushed me so high, we lost with a big fight.
“The others are the best doubles in the world, if you’re honest: we were surprised from the first game. But we can be very proud of ourselves, although it was not quite enough today.
“Sport is brutal, but also beautiful. “