Despite a difficult period, Kiki Bertens is fully committed to qualifying for the WTA Finals, the prestigious women's end-of-year tournament. De Wateringse will play several tournaments in Asia in the hope of securing a ticket.
"It has been a long season, but physically I feel good. I'm going to do everything to be with the WTA Finals," said Bertens on Monday at the press conference in Zhengzhou, China, where she starts her tour through Asia .
The Dutch is currently the number six on the 2019 ranking and the top eight of that ranking qualifies for those WTA Finals. Last year, she reached the semi-finals in which she lost to the later winner Elina Svitolina. Ashleigh Barty, the current number one in the world, is already the only player to be sure of the year-end tournament in Shenzhen.
Bertens has had a noisy time with disappointing results and a temporary break with coach Raemon Sluiter, who did not travel to Asia. After the coming series of tournaments, it will be decided whether the collaboration will be continued. Assistant coach Elise Tamaëla is in China.
"I have been home for a few days," said Bertens, who did not get any further than the third round at the US Open. "I didn't train a lot the last days because I was busy with other things. I had to recover from everything."
Kiki Bertens and Raemon Sluiter have been working together since 2015. (Photo: Pro Shots)
Bertens may open against his countryman
27-year-old Bertens has a bye in the first round of the Zhengzhou tournament. In the second round, she will face the Serbian Ajla Tomljanovic or fellow countryman Lesley Pattinama-Kerkhove. The Zeeland player qualified through the qualifications for the main tournament.
In addition to Bertens and Pattinama-Kerkhove, Bibiane Schoofs also participates in China. 31-year-old Schoofs will take on Tuesday against home player and title defender Saisai Zheng.
After Zhengzhou, Bertens will still be active at the WTA tournaments in Osaka, Wuhan and Beijing.
WTA ranking list for 2019
- 1. Ashleigh Barty (Aus) - 5236 points
- 2. Simona Halep (Roe) - 4722
- 3. Karolína Plísková (Ch) - 4546
- 4. Petra Kvitová (Ch) - 3766
- 5. Naomi Osaka (Jap) - 3536
- 6. Kiki Bertens (Ned) - 3505
- 7. Belinda Bencic (Zwi) - 2850
- 8. Bianca Andreescu (Can) - 2727
- 9. Elina Svitolina (Oek) - 2684
- 10. Serena Williams (USA) - 2635