United Cup: Follow the news and results of the new teams’ event; Belinda Bencic, Casper Ruud

World No. 3 Casper Ruud has made a strong start to his Australian campaign and is looking for redemption after missing last year’s Australian Open as United Cup action continues.

World No. 3 Casper Ruud’s impressive start to the new year wasn’t enough to prevent Norway from being beaten by United Cup Group E rivals Brazil on Sunday at the Pat Rafter Arena.

After trailing 2-0 at the start of the day, Norway needed to win the three remaining games of the game to complete a remarkable turnaround.

And Sunday’s action started on the right note for the Norwegians as Ruud defeated world No. 71 Thiago Monteiro 6-3, 6-2 to reduce Brazil’s aggregate lead to 2-1.

The South Americans remained steady, however, as Laura Pigossi defeated Ulrikke Eikeri 6-3, 6-4 in 110 minutes to give Brazil – who were desperate for a win in the duel after a 3-2 loss to Italy – an unassailable 3-3 to bring. 1 lead before the mixed doubles match.

“I’m really happy that I got this point for Brazil,” said Pigossi.

“I managed to play the important points really well.”

Earlier, Ruud beat Monteiro in 72 minutes to start the year on a high note.

“It was a must, so maybe I felt a little bit of pressure, but I got off to a good start and it feels great to start the new year in tennis in Australia,” said Ruud.

“I always feel very motivated to come here and play in Australia.”

Ruud withdrew late from the 2022 Australian Open after rolling his ankle the day before his scheduled first-round match.

“Last year was a bit unlucky…so I’m really looking forward to hopefully having a good start to the season down here and this is a perfect way for me to start another year of touring,” he said.

HOW FIESTY RISING STAR GOES TO AVOID SELF DESTRUCT KEY

Emma Greenwood

She already has some of the highest prizes in world tennis, but Belinda Bencic hopes learning how to walk an emotional tightrope will lead her to Grand Slam glory.

The Swiss world No. 12 recently linked up with coach Dmitry Tursunov and said she wants to step out of her comfort zone to take the next step in her career.

Bencic, who already owns an Olympic gold medal, also helped Switzerland win the Billie Jean King Cup final against Australia in November, although the former world No. 4 has only made it past the third round of a Grand Slam once in her last nine appearances has achieved .

In the single-minded Russian Tursunov, who she hooked up with in October, Bencic has a mentor who spurs her on immediately but also softens the “self-defeating” moments that have occasionally overwhelmed her.

“The focus is there,” said Bencic, who is contesting the United Cup preliminary round in Brisbane this week, about working with Tursunov.

“I don’t really allow myself, or he doesn’t really allow (me) to throw tantrums, although sometimes I feel like I need to vent a bit because that’s just me,” Bencic said.

“I’m definitely trying to be very focused and in the moment and not destroying myself but being angry in a positive way.

“I’m very happy with how things are going.”

The Bencic lowlight role includes racket cracking and rowing with umpires and spectators.

But it usually comes when the 25-year-old perfectionist’s frustration with herself grows.

Walking the line between losing their cool and letting off on the pitch will be crucial.

“Balance is key I think. Sometimes you can basically, like you say, moan about anything and just turn your head down, and sometimes just let it out and scream it out or do something, it can feel really good,” she said.

“When I’m angry, I feel more aggressive, braver and start playing better.

“It’s about finding that right balance. I’m certainly trying to calm down and am constantly working on it.

“I definitely feel like the big games I’ve won or like the big things or tournaments. I was definitely in those flow moments where I wanted to focus – lively but still positive.”

Having mastered those big moments lately and now with Tursunov by her side, Bencic is confident that she can take the next step and be a real Grand Slam contender.

“I’m absolutely ready,” she said.

“Of course everyone is very quick to say how mentally weak you are when you lose a few close games, but I don’t think anyone in the top 100 is mentally weak or we wouldn’t be here.

“Of course sometimes you’re having a bad day and you might choke, everyone chokes, you know.

“I feel like I’m really strong in the most important games and in tight moments, so I’m definitely very confident about that…in those tight moments you have to believe in yourself.”

Originally published as United Cup: Follow the news and results of new team events

https://www.codesports.com.au/tennis/united-cup-follow-the-news-and-results-from-new-teams-event-belinda-bencics-new-emotions-switch/news-story/9da01c6f33b694e88ddab3d236381ce9?nk=6eba27e3587d3fb6d1fbdbc7ae7b1e2d-1672550292 United Cup: Follow the news and results of the new teams’ event; Belinda Bencic, Casper Ruud

Ryan Sederquist

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