Bencic hopes to be first Swiss woman to win a Slam singles in 20 years
No Swiss woman has won a Grand Slam singles title since Martina Hingis captured the 1999 Australian Open, but Belinda Bencic hopes to end that two-decade drought at the US Open.
And with Swiss legend Roger Federer and his three-time Grand Slam-winning countryman Stan Wawrinka ousted in the men's quarter-finals, Bencic has extra motivation entering this morning's semi-finals at the Arthur Ashe Stadium.
"It would be really nice if the boys could also make it to semi-finals," said Bencic.
"But I'm happy I can kind of do it for them and don't let them down."
This year's showdown at Flushing Meadows is the 83rd Slam since Hingis won the last of her five Major singles titles.
Bencic will face the 15th- seeded Canadian teen Bianca Andreescu, a fellow Slam semi-final debutante, for the first time.
She's trying to become the first Canadian singles Grand Slam champion.
"That would be pretty awesome," said Andreescu. "If it happens, then I think I can pave way for many other athletes, the next generation - not only for Canadian tennis but I think for many people."
Bencic, seeded 13th, has battled back from the 2017 left- wrist surgery and other injuries that slowed her career for almost two seasons, winning her third WTA title in February at Dubai.
The is Bencic's deepest Slam run, surpassing her 2014 US Open debut last-eight appearance, but it comes after having had to battle adversity.
"It's there like a dream always. Even when you are playing bad, you want to come back to this feeling. I think that's the motivation enough to keep going," Bencic said.
"For sure, being No. 1 in the world or winning a Grand Slam is always a dream.
"But I think it's still a long way to that. Of course, I think you can see it there. The work and staying in the moment is more important right now. Just taking it step by step."
Ukraine's fifth-seeded Elina Svitolina meets Serena Williams, seeking her 24th Slam title to match Margaret Court's all-time record, in the other semi-final. - AFP