World No.20 Kiki Bertens says that her “tank is quite empty” and 2021 season will be her last on the WTA Tour.
The highest-ranked Dutchwoman in WTA history said on social media:
The balance of the hard work I put in day in and day out and the satisfaction I get out of it at the end of the day is no longer there. Also, I am more than ready for the chapter that comes next after this.
Had there not been the COVID-19 pandemic, the 29-year-old Bertens would have played several more seasons. The disruption of the calendar ruined her rhythm and made her want to continue to enjoy time at home. Another reason is her ongoing Achilles injury.
Talking to the WTA Insider, Bertens explained what led her to the life-changing decision :
If the 100% you give every day is not enough anymore, and the work doesn’t give you the satisfaction anymore, you have to ask yourself why am I still doing this? On that ‘why’ I didn’t find the answers. For me then, it was a clear decision. It’s enough for me. Enough is enough.
In the year preceding the pandemic, Bertens won her biggest title at the Mutua Madrid Open and reached a career-high ranking of No.4. After finishing 2019 inside the Top 10 for the second consecutive year, Bertens made a successful start to the 2020 season which included a defended title at the St. Petersburg Ladies Trophy. But then the pandemic hit, ruined her momentum and accelerated her decision to quit professional tennis.
Bertens realized that this would be her final year on the WTA Tour after the 2021 French Open:
I talked about it with Elise [Tamaela, coach] and Remko [de Rijke, husband and trainer] and after Paris I made the decision that this is not how I want to continue my career because I don’t want to end it where it’s all only frustrating. I want to end it in a nice way and on my own terms. That’s why I decided this will be my last season.
Tennis days are still not over for this winner of ten singles and ten doubles WTA titles. Her next few tournaments are Eastbourne, Wimbledon and the Olympics. (photos: Jimmie48)