Kiki Bertens was aware soon after Wimbledon that tennis would be her last Olympic event. The Westland player had already made it clear in mid-June that she was working on her final season. She then announced that she would be playing her last tournament in Japan before she leaves for Tokyo.
It’s a mix of many factors. My body was not well-equipped for grass season, so it is difficult to stay 100 percent every day. The 29-year old said that it was difficult to train. Bertens, a year old, after a session at Ariake Tennis Park with Demi Schuurs (and two Chinese players).
“I took a few weeks off after Wimbledon to see how it would feel when I returned to the training track. That didn’t work any more and after three to four days, I felt drained mentally and physically. It is best to admit that you are not ready to continue and to have fun. You should not make it a fight with yourself.
Bertens will be leaving the Games, but she is just as excited about it than she was at the hundreds of events that she has been a part of. “I take it seriously. We’re here to accomplish a mission or perform a task. So I try to make the most of my time. Then we’ll all see in a few more days what it brings.”
Kiki Bertens decided shortly after Wimbledon that it was time to end her Games career.
“Olympic jitters are less common”
Bertens will attend the opening ceremony of the Games, but she should be there this weekend. “I have been to Rio and it is very different. Everyone can confirm that. Although you feel the Olympic jitters less right now, tomorrow may bring more.
The limited accommodation capacity means that the Olympic tennis athletes will not be able to accommodate the players in the village. Instead, they will stay in a hotel. Bertens starts the tournament on Saturday with a match against Markéta Vondrousová. She also appears in doubles with Schuurs and mixed doubles.
After a series of hard months, the current number 21 in singles hopes to finish her career in dignity. Demi says that the Games are a lifelong dream. Bertens stated, “It could be a dream-end for me.”
Tokyo’s four Dutch tennis players have not yet decided with which couples to play in the mixed doubles. Jean-Julien Rojer and Wesley Koolhof participate in the men’s race. The registration deadline is early next week.