Can the Swiss sweep at Wimbledon?

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Can the Swiss sweep at Wimbledon? In the past this question wouldn’t be asked because there never was a good chance of a Swiss man and a Swiss woman winning Wimbledon in the same year.

In the late 1990’s and early 2000’s Martina Hingis was the dominant Swiss player. She challenged for Wimbledon titles and won one in 1997. Hingis retired in 2002 and the following year Roger Federer started carrying the torch for Switzerland.

Federer won Wimbledon from 2003-2007, and then again in 2009 and 2012. The great Swiss maestro is arguably the greatest player to ever grace the grass at Wimbledon. Hingis did come out of retirement and played singles in 2006 to 2007, but never was a true threat to win Wimbledon again.

Fast forward to 2015 and now the chance of a Swiss sweep at Wimbledon is more likely than ever before.

The men’s side of the draw hasn’t been a concern for the Swiss in over a decade with Federer leading the way and now Stan Wawrinka proving in the last two years he is a threat to winning grand slams as well.

The concern came from the women’s side of the draw until now. The emergence of 18-year-old Belinda Bencic and French Open semifinalist Timea Bacsinszky have sparked the idea that the Swiss can indeed sweep at Wimbledon.

Neither Bencic or Bacsinszky are ranked in the top 10, but both have shown this year, for their own reasons, why one of them can win Wimbledon.

Let’s start with Bacsinszky. The 26-year-old is going to have quite the autobiography once she retires from tennis. She turned pro in 2004 and had little success until 2009 when she won her first tournament in Luxembourg. From there her career went downhill.

In 2011 Bacsinszky suffered a foot injury that needed surgery. After the surgery and recovery she played a few ITF tournaments before deciding to semi-retire from tennis. During this time off from tennis she worked at restaurants for a living.

In 2013 her life changed again, she was invited to play in the French Open qualifiers and she decided to take time off from her job at a restaurant in Switzerland to go to Paris to play. Although she lost in her first match she decided to begin training again to revive her tennis career.

Now in 2015 Bacsinszky is having the best season by far of her career. She has four wins against top 10 players including two wins over two-time Wimbledon champion Petra Kvitova. That’s more wins over top 10 players in one season than she’s had in her entire career.

Bacsinszky also has claimed two tournament wins this year and reached the final of another. At one point she was on a 15-match winning streak before it was snapped by Serena Williams at Indian Wells.

Bacsinskzy was experiencing a string of success for the first time in her career and it wasn’t just on the hard courts either. Bacsinszky made her way to the semifinals of the French Open before losing to the eventual champion Serena Williams in three sets.

Bacsinszky is currently ranked #15 in the world, the highest of her career. This ranking will make it easier for her to progress at Wimbledon since she won’t be playing top of the charts opponents early on.

Bacsinszky has never had much success on grass, but she never had any success on any surface prior to this year anyways so that does not matter when it comes to her. Her record on hard courts last year was 7-7; this year it’s 19-3. Her record  on clay last year was 3-2; this year it’s 9-4.  So just because her record on grass was 1-1 last year does not mean she will struggle at Wimbledon. Her record on all the surfaces this year prove her history means nothing. She is playing the best tennis of her life and there are no signs of that changing.

Moving on now to Belinda Bencic. Still just 18 years old, she has already played in six Grand Slam main draws including reaching the quarterfinals at last year’s U.S. Open.

Coming into 2015 so much was expected of the then 17-year-old. Expectations were high and talk of her being the next Hingis was swirling in the air. Her start to 2015 did not live up to the high and truly unrealistic expectations. She lost in her first or second match of the first four tournaments she played including a first round exit at the Australian Open.

Bencic finished the spring hard court season with a 7-7 record and her play didn’t improve on the clay either. Her record on the clay was 3-6 making her record for the season 10-13.

Moving to the grass things suddenly changed for Bencic. She reached the finals in Hertogenbosch and just came a little short of her first ever title.

The following week she played in Birmingham and lost to Sabine Lisicki. There wasn’t much Bencic could do in the match as Lisicki fired a WTA record 27 aces.

This week Bencic is in Eastbourne and looks sharp on the grass yet again. She is into the final, defeating defending Eastbourne champion, Madison Keys, with ease along the way.

Heading into Wimbledon, Bencic has two things going for her. The first is she is playing well on the grass. After experiencing so much hardship to start 2015, she has found her groove on the grass and as of today has a record of 10-2 on it. The second thing going for her is she has experience going deep into a grand slam before. Last year’s U.S. Open run has given her the confidence and experience of how to deal with nerves as she progresses at Wimbledon.

Bencic is currently ranked #31 in the world, but if she wins Eastbourne she could jump into a tie for #21 in the world which would certainly add to her confidence at Wimbledon. Nevertheless, her grass court play is impressive and there are no signs of it taking a dip.

It would still be a surprise if either Bacsinszky or Bencic won Wimbledon considering they are up against the likes of Serena Williams, Petra Kvitova, and Maria Sharapova just to name a few. Even so it is doable for either Bacsinszky or Bencic to win Wimbledon and give Switzerland a chance at sweeping Wimbledon.

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