May/19

27

Bertens Admits She Prefers Smaller Outer Courts

Stage fright can happen in tennis too. No matter how talented and confident a pro player may be, some do not like to perform under the spotlight and pressure of a full stadium watching their every move.

Kiki Bertens, the rising star from Netherlands, is one such player. The no. 4 seed beat Pauline Parmentier on Lenglen Stadium today, the second biggest at Roland Garros, and after the match admitted she would rather play out on court 8.

“It’s not that I feel really comfortable on the court, but I’m getting there, yeah,” Bertens said to journalists after her first career win in four tries against Parmentier.
“I have played a lot now in front of a big crowd, on the big stage. I’m getting used to it. But I still prefer one of the outside courts, but I think that’s not gonna happen now, no.”

The 27 year old who has a 5-1 record vs. top ten players this year and made the quarters at Wimbledon last year and semis at Roland Garros in 2016, is on the verge of becoming a first time major champion.

To do that she will need to enjoy the pressure and scrutiny of playing on stadium courts, unlike several other elite pros, one of which Gael Monfils revealed to us nine years ago at US Open, after Monfils beat Richard Gasquet 64 75 75.

“I tried to be very tough and very hard with him, showing him that I’m the man and I’m the leader. So I think I try also to get him in the head, to show him like I will be strong and he might hit a good shot but it’s okay. For me it’s like nothing.”

Monfils added, some more revealing insights… “And also, Richard, he doesn’t really like pressure. He love, like, good play, not play. He don’t like a lot of crowd around, the crowd involved. He don’t like (to) see the opponent like show emotions. Just play with that, play a bit with his mind, and that was it.”

Gasquet has never quite embraced the unique challenges of playing on the biggest stages, taking advantage of how crowd energy and support can spark a player to a higher level of play. Let’s see if Kiki Bertens can shift her game into a higher gear with the valuable energy and spark that a pumped up crowd can provide a needy player in the heat of the battle.

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2 comments

  • catherine · May 29, 2019 at 12:48 pm

    Unfortunately Kiki had to retire in her match today.

  • Hartt · May 29, 2019 at 12:51 pm

    Bertens having to retire was so sad to see. I thought she had a good shot at winning the tournament.

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