June 14, 2024

Open Court

MORE TENNIS THAN YOU'LL EVER NEED

Video: A trip down memory lane with Belinda Bencic and Ana Konjuh

MIAMI, Fla. – Belinda Bencic, the No. 22 seed, has rolled to the Miami Open semifinals.

She meets unseeded Naomi Osaka in a challenging semifinal Thursday afternoon, with the former No. 1 Osaka looking in fine form in her last hard-court tournament until the late summer.

But earlier in the week, Bencic had a fun reunion with Ana Konjuh, a friend since the under-12s more than half their lives ago.

Konjuh asked Bencic to team up for doubles at Indian Wells and Miami. They weren’t able to get into Indian Wells (they were next in). But they did get the band back together in Miami after being “next in” again, but getting a wild card.

The Swiss-Croat pair had a good win in the first round, beating Anna Kalinina and Elena Rybakina, before falling to Magda Linette and Sara Sorribes Tormo.

Here’s how the two looked in the Wimbledon junior girls’ doubles final – nearly a decade ago. They lost to Eugenie Bouchard and Taylor Townsend.

A long, hard road

We showed them the photos of those days at the start of the interview, and they laughed at how “skinny” they were back then.

Both have been through it in the intervening years – notably Konjuh, who fought her way back to the cusp of the top 50 in singles from the netherworld of the rankings after several years of surgeries and comebacks.

Here they are talking about memories, friendship on Tour and the challenges of their profession.

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