Kiki Bertens (29) will end her tennis career this year. The Dutch, the former number 4 in the world, has been suffering from an Achilles tendon injury for some time. Recovery after surgery was difficult. Moreover, during the forced corona break, Bertens “smelled a life without tennis” and she liked it.
Bertens announced the news during a scheduled meeting in Etten-Leur, at her training location. It remains to be seen whether she will end her career after the Olympics or at the end of the tennis season. That depends on her physical condition.
In a letter that Bertens read, she stated that “the tank is empty”. “I felt like I was working harder than ever, but my body wasn’t cooperating. There were and are days when things are going very well, but also days when I am in a lot of pain and I don’t feel I can do anything,” Bertens wrote. “I feel that the right balance between the full energy I put into it day in and day out and the satisfaction I get from it is no longer there. In addition, I am more than ready for the life to come.”
Bertens is having a disappointing season due to the lingering Achilles tendon injury in her left foot. She has only won one match on the WTA Tour this season. At the beginning of this month, she already lost in the opening round at Roland Garros, her favorite grand slam tournament. After the early elimination in Paris, Bertens already made a somewhat resigned impression. “I’ve just finished the job, I’m going home in a bit and then we’re going to think about what we’re going to do next. Then we’ll see,” she said.
After Roland Garros, Bertens took some time for herself and came to realize that being a top athlete no longer gives her the satisfaction it did earlier in her career. Bertens, still the number 20 in the world, has won ten WTA titles. Her last success was in February 2020 when she won the WTA tournament in Saint Petersburg for the second time. In 2016 Bertens reached the semifinals at Roland Garros, her best result at a grand slam tournament. She lost to Serena Williams in Paris five years ago. Two years later, Bertens made it to the last eight at Wimbledon, where she defeated Venus Williams, among others. The highlight of her career is the title at the renowned clay tournament in Madrid in 2019. She then beat Romanian Simona Halep in the final.