Swiss player Belinda Bencic has opened up on her health struggles and said she is still reeling from the after effects of the dreaded virus.
Bencic was among several players who tested positive for the virus following the exhibition event in Abu Dhabi, and is still experiencing lingering effects.
“It was not easy,” she said in a press conference after her 6-1, 7-6 win over Kaja Juvan in the second round of St. Petersburg Open.
“I have been diagnosed with something in my lungs which is not normal. And still, I’m happy I can play but it’s going to take me a while to recover—they said about two, three months.
“I think it happens with a lot of athletes that your fitness, it’s not the same level.
“So, it’s very tough but I have to, you know, just work with what I have.”
Bencic, 24, reached the third round in Sydney before exiting the Australian Open in the second round.
“I kind of expected I will maybe not have the best chance to win a lot of matches,” she said. “But I’m trying my best to get back to shape.”
But the World No 24 is still positive about what she can accomplish in the longer term.
Having reached the Top 10 as a teenager, she experienced frequent injury problems but got to No. 4 in 2020 and won gold at the Tokyo Olympics for Switzerland, a career highlight.
“I’m so happy I won the gold,” she said.
“This kind of relaxed me a lot but I still want to keep working and reaching more goals.”