After almost five months of waiting, Kiki Bertens finally plays her first game on a serious level on Monday. The 28-year-old Westlandse is participating in a demonstration tournament in Berlin, where a number of top tennis players want to see where they stand in corona time in the run-up to the resumption of the season.
"Kiki hasn't been on the track for a total of two months, so she won't be super competitive yet. But at least this is a great opportunity to get into rhythm and see where she stands against her competitors," said Bertens' coach Elise Tamaëla looking ahead to the tournament in conversation with NU.nl.
The Bett1-aces Tournament will be played at two different locations next week. The tennis players - six men and six women - play at Steffi Graf Stadium from Monday to Wednesday and then exchange the turf for a hard court in a hangar at Tempelhof airport (July 17-19).
It will all be a lot better arranged in Berlin than at the Adria Tour, the tournament organized by Novak Djokovic where no corona measures were taken into account. Several participants became infected there, but it did not leave Bertens in doubt about her participation in Berlin.
"Not even at all," says Tamaëla. "In Berlin, everything is very tightly planned. Everyone is tested on arrival, mouth masks are mandatory and a neat 1.5 meter distance is kept. In the hotel there is also enough space, so we are not worried about that."
In the first weeks of the corona crisis, Kiki Bertens kept her fitness level by cycling with coach Elise Tamaëla. (Photo: Instagram / Kiki Bertens)
Bertens meets Görges and former coach Sluiter in Berlin
Bertens has a bye for the first tournament and flows into the semifinals, playing two games at the Steffi Graf Stadium. Elina Svitolina, Petra Kvitová, Julia Görges, Andrea Petkovic and Anastasija Sevastova, coached by Raemon Sluiter, also make an appearance in Berlin.
Initially, there would be no public welcome at the games, but the organization returned to it last month in consultation with the authorities. Hundreds of people are expected to come and watch the matches in the German capital.
"It is great for both the fans and the tennis players to be able to attend, but the corona measures will be strictly taken into account," says Tamaëla. "So no signatures will be given and Kiki will not be photographed with fans."
Participant field in women
- Elina Svitolina (WTA-5)
- Kiki Bertens (WTA-7)
- Petra Kvitová (WTA-12)
- Julia Görges (WTA-38)
- Anastasija Sevastova (WTA-43)
- Andrea Petkovic (WTA-87)
After demonstration tournament, Bertens makes a decision about the US Open
After the demonstration tournament, Bertens knows where she is physically and conditionally after almost five matchless months and she will work with Tamaëla on the rest of the season. The hot topic is the US Open, which starts on August 31 in New York, affected by the corona virus.
The status is still the same: if the current travel restrictions in the US are not relaxed, the chances are that Bertens will not participate in the US Open and all hard courts in the run-up to the Grand Slam tournament.
"If we want to go to the US now, we will have to be quarantined for two weeks and that will probably be waiting for us when we return to Europe. Of course, that is not desirable, so it may be wiser not to go to the US. go, "says Tamaëla.
"The USTA (American tennis association, ed.) Is working on lifting the quarantine measures for top athletes. If we can travel there freely and do not have to quarantine in Europe again, we will go there. But it is still wait and see. Next week we will look at the options. "
Participant field in men
- Dominic Thiem (ATP-3)
- Jan-Lennard Struff (ATP-34)
- Jannik Sinner (ATP-73)
- Rudolf Molleker (ATP-189)
- Mischa Zverev (ATP-258)
- Tommy Haas (no ranking, officially retired)
* Nick Kyrgios and Alexander Zverev would also participate in Berlin, but signed out of the tournament. Caroline Garcia withdrew from the women.