Bencic aiming for injury-free season in 2017

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After injuries plagued her season this year, Belinda Bencic is determined to be fitter and healthier in 2017. 

Due to her injuries, the young Swiss talent endured a season to forger as she crashed out or was forced to retire from numerous tournaments relatively early on. 

In fact, she failed to win a single title in her 2016 campaign and only reached the final of one tournament, the St Petersburg Ladies Trophy in February, where she lost to Roberta Vinci. 

Having failed to make her presence felt, Bencic, who was ranked number seven in the world in February, slipped down the standings throughout the year and by last month, she had fallen to number 43. 

“(I want) To be able to play the whole season without pain, would be really great,” Bencic told Tages Sanzeiger. “And then I would like to improve my game or return to it. Even if the results should not be the same. I'm sure it will come back.”

Speaking about her injuries, the 19-year-old admitted that she grew increasingly frustrated as she was suffered another setback a short while after recovering from an injury. 

In the end, Bencic revealed that the injuries took such a toll on her that her self-confidence began to wane, which resulted in her disappointing performances on the court. 

“It was a devil's circle. When one injury had been healed, the next one came,” she said. “In the end I could not believe it myself. It was like a nightmare. When I did not play, people asked: ‘When does it come again?’

“The expectations were great. And I said to myself, ‘I'll have to play again soon’. I never really had time to start anew to train properly. It was a bit hectic.  All the journalists now write that I am only 19 and so often injured. But Kerber, for example, also had a shoulder surgery at 19. Only nobody knew because she was ranked 300. And Konjuh had an operation on her elbows. I was never hurt in the juniors. Now everything came together in one year."