April 17, 2021

Kiki Bertens: It was a hard week

Dutch tennis player Kiki Bertens commented on the victory in the final tournament in St. Petersburg.

If you could tell about your most vivid impressions of the first victory in St. Petersburg?

– Speaking of my impressions, I can say that they are amazing. I came here to finally win my first match in a tournament in St. Petersburg. In the end, she played an excellent tournament and the main trophy.

How heavy is this cup for you literally and figuratively?

– It was a hard week. It was not easy, it was a challenge for me. I spent a great week here. The start of the match in the final was not easy for me. But I am glad that I was able to change everything and turn the course of the match back. And I am glad that I was able so early in the season in 2019 I was able to win my first title. Last year you took off due to injury. You had a non-ideal streak in life and sport.

Now you are entrenched in the Top 10.How did you achieve such a success?

– I think first of all experience. I remember I had the semi-final of Roland Garros in 2016. And after that things didn’t go very well. In 2017 it was not bad, but then there was stress, very strong stress. I was close to quitting tennis altogether. But then the energy returned to me, the concentration returned. I rested and set new goals for 2018. It was the best year of my career. And now, this season, I just enjoy tennis and happy on and off the court. I’m a happy man now.

When you picked up the phone after the final, from whom was the first greeting in the messages?

– To be honest, I have not checked my phone yet. I don’t know, but, I think my parents. Both you and Donna talked about the future joint play in Indian Wells.

When did you agree on this?

– Here is how it was. A couple of days ago we were at a session with physio together. She asked, “Do you plan to play a couple in Indiana Wells?” I replied that I am looking for a partner and do not know yet who I will play with. It turned out that Donna is also looking for a partner. Well, we decided to play together. I look forward to it. It will be a great week for us. Donna is a great girl, it’s great to play with her. Our face-to-face matches are always very difficult. When we play a couple, I think it will be very interesting and great.

What do you remember most in the organization of this tournament? What was the brightest event for you during this tournament, which was not in other tournaments?

– I would probably say that the most vivid memory will be this incredible closing show, which I saw after the match. With all these dancers on the court, with the singer who performed. I have never seen this in other tournaments. In general, the whole tournament is superbly organized, and I will remember it for a long time.

Kiki, you are not playing next week for the Netherlands national team, why?

– I decided not to play the Federation Cup, because the match will be in the hall, and then I will have to play at the Doha tournament, a big load on my body, so I decided not to participate this time.

– 5/2 Donna leads in the first set, but in the end it ends in your favor. Is it a feature of female tennis psychology? And did you have any doubts at that moment when you thought that you had already won, but in fact, you had to continue the match – did you think that everything might not turn in your favor?

– Answering your first question, I can say that when the score was 2/5, Donna played just great, I was inferior to her, but decided to focus on my own punches, improve them so that it would be useful in the next game. But it turned out that I was able to win the first set due to this. As for the second question, then yes, I was hoping that the ball was in touch, but it hit the court. I started to get nervous, I got back memories of our match with Donna in Brisbane, where I had matchballs, and in the end I lost. I am glad that I was able to win, although I must admit that I was a bit lucky to win the match due to netball. Kristina Mladenovic won the title in St. Petersburg, and then returned the next year tennis player Top-10, then, in 2018, won the title Petra Kvitova. This year, Petra arrived at the rank of the second racket of the world.

What is your goal for this year? Planning to return to St. Petersburg first racket of the world?

My goal is simple – to return to St. Petersburg, be happy and play again in this amazing tournament.

Which match did you remember most of all at this tournament? Maybe the easiest or, conversely, the hardest?

– I think I’ll remember the finale best. It was great – great support. I am very pleased that I won my eighth title here. A few years ago you defeated the Russian national team in the Federation Cup. Today you won the title in St. Petersburg.

Why are the courts in Russia so successful for you?

– I do not know how to answer your question. I can remember the moment when they asked me here why I play so badly in this tournament. I then remembered that I actually won in my time in the Federation Cup in Moscow. This memory helped me to perform well here. I was very pleased to play here. We were surrounded by very kind people, they cared for us incredibly. They made us happy.

Do you have a shortened, diminutive name that your family members, your grandparents call you?

– They always call me Kiki or Kik for short.

Today’s match can be called not only a match of flying balls, but also a match of flying rackets. Does such a splash of emotions like throwing a racket help you?

– In fact, I sometimes threw rackets this season. I can not say that I am proud of it. Then I told my trainer that I need to stop throwing the rackets. We set the rule that in case I throw a racket, I have to pay a fine.

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