Kiki Bertens is Your Hottest WTA Tour star to Incorporate in a Sport column.
In her final piece at the Australian Open, the ninth seed discusses her fourth-round depart Garbine Muguruzawhy shes additional inspiration going into her favourite Slam at the French Open and solving puzzles in escape room games.
Starting the new year by reaching the final 16 in the Australian Open makes me very optimistic for the entire year ahead, though Im bitterly disappointed to not go farther.
I didnt receive the outcomes at the Grand Slams that I hoped for, I didnt get beyond the next round at some of the four 31, This past year.
This is also my operate on a court Slam along with my run at Melbourne.
Even after losing to Garbine Muguruza in the round, Ill take these items as a huge positive.
We have a whole great deal of championships to go before the next Slam – the French Open at the end of May – but I am already looking forward to that since clay is my own normal surface.
I dont need to put too much stress on myself in Roland Garros, but I have additional motivation after what happened there every year.
I was the fourth seed and playing really well going into the championship, having won the Madrid Open and also reaching the semi-finals at Rome and Stuttgart.
Then I woke up at 3am in the morning before my second-round game and was vomiting all morning until I played with Viktoria Kuzmova.
I tried to play but I had no energy and had to retire after four matches.
Things like this show you never understand what will happen over a couple of weeks at a Slam.
Obviously, I try to do my best every single week and each and every championship but I really like playing on clay so Roland Garros is my favourite Grand Slam.
But I have the Fed Cup to perform the Dutch team and then I go to St Petersburg to defend my title.
So theres a lot to focus on first!
A reduction is hard for me personally, so naturally Im disappointed at losing to Garbine. I didnt perform my best.
Garbine played with a great game and her levels were quite large, and that meant I was not allowed to play my best.
She put so much stress on me in every single match, even my support matches, and her yields were really great.
That meant I needed to play and I made too many mistakes.
But I needed to play this way because otherwise she could step on every single shot and she did that really well.
I did have the balance . Sometimes I wasnt aggressive enough and she can measure in. Then the next point I was sayingI must do it more but then that led to errors.
I was really searching for the perfect balance but was not there.
I broke at the onset of the original set but against Garbine you know whenever you have a rest against her sometimes does not really matter.
Its always difficult to back up those breaks because you know her returns are so good that so she puts so much pressure on each one of your ceremony games.
Aside from that game and the next game of the next set once I broke , she didnt give much away on her serve.
Her first-serve percentage was fairly high and I couldnt really see where the serve was moving. Her assortment was good and it was tough to read.
I loathe losing tennis matches, I hate losing in what I do.
But when I look back complete at the swing I can be joyful. I played with some great matches in Brisbane too so Im going home to the Netherlands feeling positive and ready for the Fed Cup.
I am not sure how near her very best Garbine is but shes currently playing well.
We will see whether shes in a position to sustain her kind but we know shes capable of performing it over two weeks in a Grand Slam having won Roland Garros at 2016 and Wimbledon a year after.
However, things may change so quickly for a player – particularly at a Slam.
I am not sure not or if shes the favorite. Its wide open.
Thats reflective of the strength in depth of the womens game, it is possible to see that over the last two years because we have had so many distinct winners of tournaments.
Its extraordinary. Every tournament everyone can win. So so I could not pick a winner here!
Like I told you in one of my earlier columns, I really like doing escape chambers and we finally was able to play until I left Melbourne!
It is a sport where youre in a hidden room and have to address numerous puzzles within a particular amount of time toescape.
We had two groups – the girls against the guys – and we all won! We only had two minutes left after 15 minutes in there so we were really excited we did it in time.
Our team comprised Julia Goerges, the German player who is among my best friends on the excursion, Dutch doubles participant Demi Schuurs along with my trainer Elise Tamaela. On the men side was my husband Remko and a number of our other Dutch and Belgian friends.
I really like games so that we always play cards and board games to relax when we are on tour. Im competitive with what I do!
So thats the same with all the escape chambers, I love the competitive part of it and I always like to solve puzzles.
The majority of the time I do escape out of the space!
Apart from that, Julia and I also like to catch up over coffee – and there are tons of cool coffee areas in Melbourne.
It is a pity I will not be here for the remainder of week to have the city more but Im excited about coming back next year.
Kiki Bertens was talking to Sports Jonathan Jurejko in Melbourne Park.