Kiki Bertens today played the last singles match in her professional career. The Dutchwoman lost to Marketa Vondrousova of the Czech Republic 6-4 3-6 6-4 in the first round of the Tokyo Olympics.
Kiki Bertens played her last singles match. 😢 pic.twitter.com/wtBK1rGAv0
— Tennis GIFs 🎾🎥 (@tennis_gifs) July 24, 2021
When the match came to an end, Bertens through her racquet as she sat on the chair and covered her face with the towel. However, her participation at the Olympics is not over yet, as she’s also teamed up with Demi Schuurs in women’s doubles as they face France’s Kristina Mladenovic and Caroline Garcia on Sunday.
Vondrousova’s participation at the Tokyo Olympics has a veil of controversy. The world No.41 used a protected ranking to make the Czech team, denying world No.24 Karolina Muchova a spot. Four athletes per country are allowed to compete and Vondrousova initially didn’t make the cut, but then she used her protected rankings from 2019, despite not having used the ranking in over a year, and pushed Muchova out. Upset that Vondrousova profited from a hole in the system, Muchova stated: “I’m disappointed that I won’t be playing at the Tokyo Olympics, I was looking forward to it. But I have to respect the ITF rules and will cheer for the Czech team from home.”
Bertens won ten WTA singles titles in 12 years competing on the WTA Tour. The 29-year-old is leaving tennis while still being ranked very high, at No.21. Her best ranking was No.4.
Talking to the WTA Insider a few weeks ago, Bertens explained why she decided to quit playing tennis in 2021:
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.