Kiki Bertens ([ˈkiki ˈbɛrtəns]; born 10 December 1991) is a Dutch tennis player who turned professional in 2009. Her highest WTA singles ranking is No. 4, which she reached on 13 May 2019, becoming the highest ranked Dutch female player ever. Her career high in doubles is world No. 16, achieved in April 2018. To date, she has won ten singles titles and ten doubles titles on the WTA Tour including 2018 Western & Southern Open and 2019 Mutua Madrid Open. Bertens is widely regarded as a clay-court specialist, but also is successful on hard courts. Raemon Sluiter has been her coach. On 1 November 2019 she announced on Instagram that Raemon Sluiter would no longer be her coach and Elise Tamaëla would be her new coach. Tamaëla was her interim coach at the time.
Early life and background
Bertens was born on 10 December 1991 in Wateringen near The Hague, but grew up in the town of Berkel en Rodenrijs. She has two sisters, one older and one younger. Bertens started playing tennis at age six at ATV Berkenrode, a tennis club where her aunt and uncle played. She has been coached by Martin van der Brugghen at the club since she was seven years old. Van der Brugghen recognized her ability and continued to coach her primarily to help her reach her potential. He said: "In the youth we have supported her very much. I taught her for little money because I find it interesting to see how far you can get with someone." Bertens received little support from the Dutch tennis federation. She did not play on the ITF Junior Circuit except for one appearance at the Junior Fed Cup in 2007.
2012: First WTA title
Bertens started the year at the Australian Open, playing the qualifiers. She played in the first round against top seed Vesna Dolonts and won the first ten games before Dolonts retired. In the second round Bertens lost to Olga Savchuk in a close three-set match. The following week, in a 25K event in Andrézieux-Bouthéon, Bertens retired with a thigh injury in the first round against Corinna Dentoni.
She played in the Fed Cup for the Dutch team, competing in Group 1 of Europe/Africa. She partnered with Demi Schuurs in the doubles match against the Portuguese team of Bárbara Luz and Margarida Moura and won in two sets. Bertens won her singles rubber against Estonia's Eva Paalma and with Michaëlla Krajicek double-bageled Anett Kontaveit and Tatjana Vorobjova. Late February she played the qualifications for WTA tournament of Acapulco. She defeated Mexican wild card Ana Paula de la Peña in the first round but lost in the second qualification round to Sesil Karatantcheva.
At a 25K event in Irapuato, Mexico, Bertens won her second ITF singles title, beating Kazakh Yaroslava Shvedova in the final, propelling her to a new career high in singles ranking. The following week, she made it to the quarterfinals of the 25K tournament in Poza Rica, but her winning streak was snapped by Jana Čepelová. At the 25K tournament in Bath the week afterwards, Bertens won the title, defeating Annika Beck in the final in three sets, her fourth three-set match in a row. Bertens failed to qualify for the WTA tournament in Copenhagen, falling to Johanna Konta.
In the qualifying for the WTA event in Fes, she beat Moroccan wild card Intissar Rassif without dropping a game. She reached her first WTA final in this tournament, defeating Urszula Radwańska, sixth seed Chanelle Scheepers, Garbiñe Muguruza, and fifth seed Simona Halep along the way. Prior to this tournament, she had never won a WTA singles match in the main draw. In the final she defeated Laura Pous Tió, winning the last eight games. She became the first Dutch female player since Michaëlla Krajicek in 2006 to win a WTA singles tournament.
At the French Open, Bertens was seeded No. 1 in qualifying and defeated Annika Beck in the first qualifying round, saving a matchpoint in the third set. She defeated Olga Puchkova in the second round and outclassed Mădălina Gojnea in the final qualifying round. This meant Bertens' first main draw appearance at a Grand Slam tournament. In the first round she lost in three sets to Christina McHale.
Bertens debuted at Wimbledon in her first-round match against the No. 19 seed Lucie Šafářová and won in two sets, her first win at a Grand Slam event. In the second round she lost to Yaroslava Shvedova in straight sets. Bertens then made a brief appearance at the ITF tournament in Biella, but lost to homeplayer Nastassja Burnett in the first round. This was followed by first-round losses in Palermo and Båstad to Alexandra Cadanțu and Polona Hercog respectively.
Bertens returned to form during the American hard-court circuit. In Montreal, she qualified by defeating Vladimíra Uhlířová, Zhang Shuai, saving two matchpoints, and Alexa Glatch. In the main draw, Bertens caused an upset, defeating former world No. 3 (then ranked 22) Nadia Petrova, coming back from a large deficit. In the second round Caroline Wozniacki proved too strong, and Bertens lost in straight sets. Like in Montreal, Bertens qualified for the main draw in Cincinnati, defeating Aravane Rezaï and Yulia Putintseva. However, in the main event she succumbed to fellow qualifier Sesil Karatantcheva. In Dallas, she retired with a shoulder injury against Polona Hercog.
At the US Open, Bertens exacted revenge on Christina McHale, knocking out the American in the first round but suffering a three-set loss to Olga Puchkova in the second round. Bertens stated afterwards she had been nervous during the match. At the WTA tournament in Seoul, Bertens defeated Vania King and Sílvia Soler Espinosa from Spain to reach the quarterfinals. She faced Estonian Kaia Kanepi next and lost in straight sets. After a second-round appearance in Linz she ended her season with a first-round loss in Luxembourg due to fatigue.
Starting the year ranked No. 63, her first tournament was the Auckland Classic. In the first round, she defeated Svetlana Kuznetsova in three sets. In the second round, she beat Heather Watson. In the quarterfinals, Bertens was defeated by Jamie Hampton. Seeded fifth for qualifying at the Apia International Sydney, she lost in the first round of qualifying to Misaki Doi. Ranked 60 at the Australian Open, Bertens was defeated in the first round by Lucie Hradecká.
Seeded fourth for qualifying at the Open GdF Suez, Bertens reached the final round where she lost to Virginie Razzano. However, she entered the main draw as a lucky loser. She reached the semifinals after wins over Tamira Paszek, fourth seed Dominika Cibulková, and sixth seed Lucie Šafářová. In the semifinals, Bertens faced top-seed Sara Errani. Errani led 5–0 in the first set when Bertens retired due to a back injury.
At the 2014 French Open, she reached the fourth round as a qualifier in which she was defeated in three sets by Andrea Petkovic.
In 2015, she changed coaches from Christiaan de Jong to Raemon Sluiter.
2016: Fed Cup semis, second WTA title and first Grand Slam semifinal
Bertens started the year in Auckland, where she entered the main draw as a qualifier. She lost in the first round to Barbora Strýcová. At the Hobart International, she reached the quarterfinal, losing there to Dominika Cibulková. She lost in the first round of the Australian Open to Laura Siegemund.
Bertens then earned two important wins in the Fed Cup tie against Russia, beating Ekaterina Makarova and Svetlana Kuznetsova. They ended up beating the 2015 finalists. After that, Bertens had early defeats in Acapulco (losing to Naomi Osaka in the first round) and in Monterrey (losing in the last round of the qualifying to Pauline Parmentier). After entering Indian Wells' main draw as a qualifier, she lost in the first round to CoCo Vandeweghe. Prior to the Miami Open, she played at the San Antonio Open where she reached the round of 16. Then, in Miami, she once again reached the main draw through qualifying and earned wins over Zheng Saisai and No. 25 seed Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova before retiring in the third set in her third-round match against Angelique Kerber.
Playing for Netherlands at the Fed Cup semifinals against France, Bertens kept her winning streak by beating Caroline Garcia and Kristina Mladenovic, both in straight sets; nonetheless, it was not enough as France won the tie in the doubles decider. After that, she started her clay-court season with a semifinals run in Rabat, only losing to Marina Erakovic.
At Nuremberg, Bertens won her second WTA singles title by defeating Mariana Duque Mariño in the final in straight sets. In the second round, she had defeated top-seeded Roberta Vinci which was her first win against a top-10 player. And it was her first title since 2012. She also won the doubles title alongside Johanna Larsson.
At the French Open, Bertens avenged her Miami loss by upsetting No. 3 seed Angelique Kerber in three sets. She then beat Camila Giorgi, No. 29 seed Daria Kasatkina, No. 15 seed Madison Keys, and No. 8 seed Timea Bacsinszky en route to her first Grand Slam semifinal. In her semifinal match against the No. 1 seed Serena Williams, Kiki played with a left calf injury which made it difficult for her to move forward to Williams' drop shots. Bertens never took advantage of a medical time-out or took trainer treatment. Despite having two set points and being up by a break in both sets, she lost in straight sets. However, she entered the top 30 for the first time in her career.
Prior to Wimbledon, Bertens was scheduled to play at the Ricoh Open; however, due to the same injury that harmed her left calf, she was forced to pull out of the tournament. After a few weeks of recovery, Bertens kicked off her campaign at the third Grand Slam event of the year and defeated Jeļena Ostapenko and Mona Barthel to reach the third round of the grass tournament for the first time. She then lost to Simona Halep.
Her next tournament was the inaugural Ladies Championship Gstaad, where she reached the final. She lost one set to Tamira Paszek en route. In the final, Bertens lost in three sets to Viktorija Golubic. Despite the defeat, she climbed to No. 21 in the rankings.
Despite winning her second title of her career this year and making it to the semifinals of the French Open, Bertens lost in the first round of six straight tournaments, notably including the Summer Olympics and US Open. As a result of her inconsistency, she decided not to compete at the Wuhan Open and China Open. She made her return at the Linz Open. However, she lost in the first round to Sorana Cîrstea but won the doubles with Johanna Larsson. Her next event was the Luxembourg Open. She had her best result since Wimbledon by making it to the semifinals, losing to Monica Niculescu. However, she did not go home empty handed. Bertens and Larsson won their second doubles title in a row. Bertens ended her season at the WTA Elite Trophy where she lost both of her matches with close scorelines, against Elina Svitolina and Elena Vesnina.
2017: Two WTA titles, Tour Championships doubles final
Bertens started her year off with a first-round loss to Lauren Davis at the ASB Classic. However, Bertens and Larsson won the doubles title. She was seeded first at the Hobart International. Kiki had routine wins over Annika Beck and Galina Voskoboeva in the first two rounds, but lost to qualifier and eventual champion Elise Mertens. She continued to struggle during her next four tournaments, and lost in the first round of all of them including the Australian Open.
She then traveled to the United States for the Indian Wells and Miami Open, and lost to Timea Bacsinszky at Indian Wells in a hard-fought three setter, and in the second round in Miami to qualifier Risa Ozaki.
Bertens had a strong start to her clay-court season. She reached the third round of both the Volvo Open and the Copa Solsanitas. She lost in the first round of the Porsche Open. However, she made it to the quarterfinals of the Madrid Open, defeating former top ten players Ekaterina Makarova and Timea Bacsinszky along the way before losing to Anastasija Sevastova. Bertens had an even more impressive journey during the Italian Open. She made it to the semifinals, but lost to Simona Halep. She successfully defended her title in Nuremberg by defeating Barbora Krejčíková in the final. This was her third career singles title. After a strong showing during the clay-court season, she entered the French Open and beat Ajla Tomljanović in the first round, but was upset by CiCi Bellis in the second.
Bertens started the grass-court season with two straight first-round losses at the Ricoh Open and Mallorca Open. The Wimbledon Championships proved to be unsuccessful as well as she lost in the first round to Sorana Cîrstea. After a disappointing French Open and Wimbledon, Bertens rebounded at Gstaad where she claimed the title by beating Anett Kontaveit in the final. She also claimed the doubles title alongside Johanna Larsson.
Bertens didn't have a successful US Open series as she lost in the second round of the Cincinnati Open to Johanna Konta. She followed this up with a first-round loss at the Connecticut Open in Cincinnati to qualifier Elise Mertens. She was also defeated in the first round of the US Open by Maria Sakkari in straight sets.
At Korea Open, Bertens was seeded second, but lost in the first round against compatriot Richèl Hogenkamp. She lost in the second round of the Wuhan Open to qualifier Varvara Lepchenko, and in the first round of both the China Open and Austrian Open. After a string of early-round losses, Bertens reached the quarterfinals of the Luxembourg Open. Seeded second, she beat Denisa Allertová in the first round, in the second she beat Andrea Petkovic, but fell to the eventual winner Carina Witthöft. Bertens competed in by far her biggest final of her career at the WTA Finals with partner Johanna Larsson. They had a big win over the second seeds Ekaterina Makarova and Elena Vesnina in the semifinals. However, they lost to Tímea Babos and Andrea Sestini Hlaváčková in the final. Bertens ended the year ranked 31st, down from 22nd the year prior. However, her ranking in doubles reached a new career high at 19th.
2018: First Premier and Premier 5 titles, top-10 debut
Bertens opened the year with a first round loss at the Brisbane International to Ana Konjuh. However, she won the doubles title with fellow countrywoman Demi Schuurs. She followed this up by winning her first match of the year at the Sydney International over qualifier Kristie Ahn. However, she lost to the top seed Garbiñe Muguruza. At the Australian Open Bertens beat Americans CiCi Bellis and Nicole Gibbs in the first two rounds before falling to world No. 2 and eventual winner, Caroline Wozniacki.
In April, she won her first Premier title by defeating Julia Görges in straight sets in the final of the Charleston Open. At the Madrid Open, she defeated Maria Sakkari, and Anastasija Sevastova, and world No. 2 Caroline Wozniacki in the first, second and third round respectively. In the quarterfinals, she upset Maria Sharapova. She reached her first Premier Mandatory final by defeating Caroline Garcia but fell to Petra Kvitová in the final.
At the French Open, Bertens beat Aryna Sabalenka and Aliaksandra Sasnovich easily in two sets before falling to Angelique Kerber in two tight tie-break sets. During the grass season, Bertens impressed at Wimbledon with wins over top players like ninth seed Venus Williams and seventh seed Karolína Plíšková. In the quarterfinals, she lost to Julia Görges but achieved a career best at Wimbledon so far by reaching the last eight.
After Wimbledon, Bertens decided not to defend her title on the clay of Gstaad. She started the hard-court season in Montreal at the Canadian Open where she made an impressive run, beating for the first time two top-ten players on hard court. She defeated ninth seed Karolína Plíšková and eighth seed Petra Kvitová before losing to 15th seed Ashleigh Barty in the quarterfinals, her best performance in Montreal. The following week, she won the biggest title of her career in Cincinnati, beating top-10 players Wozniacki, Svitolina, Kvitová and Halep along the way.
In September, she defeated Ajla Tomljanovic in the Korea Open final for her second hardcourt title. Bertens subsequently qualified for the WTA Finals for the first time, after Simona Halep withdrew from the tournament due to injury where she reached the semifinals, losing to the eventual winner Elina Svitolina.
Kiki Bertens was named "Most Improved Player of the Year" for 2018 by the WTA.
2019: First Premier Mandatory title
She started off her season at the Brisbane International, beating Elise Mertens and losing to Donna Vekić. The following week, she reached the semifinals in Sydney, losing to Ashleigh Barty in three sets. At the Australian Open, she defeated Alison Riske in the first round before losing to Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova in the second. She reached her first final of the year in February, defeating Ysaline Bonaventure, Pavlyuchenkova and Aryna Sabalenka at the St. Petersburg Ladies' Trophy. In the final, she beat Vekić in straight sets.
At the BNP Paribas Open, she reached the fourth round for the first time, after beating Linette and Konta in straight sets, before falling to Muguruza in three long sets. Bertens went after a good run at Indian Wells to the Miami Open. At the Miami Open she reached the fourth round, after beating Wang Xiyu and Viktória Kužmová, before losing to eventual winner Ashleigh Barty.
Bertens started off her clay-court season at the Charleston Open as defending champion and reached the third round before losing against Maria Sakkari in straight sets. After that, Bertens reached the semifinals at the Porsche Tennis Grand Prix in Stuttgart, losing in three sets to Petra Kvitová. However, she bounced back at the Madrid Open, where she cruised through her first three matches against Kateřina Siniaková, Jeļena Ostapenko, and Anastasija Sevastova. In the quarterfinals, she avenged both the loss in last year’s final and the loss in Stuttgart against Kvitová, beating the Czech, losing just five games. In the semifinals, she beat Sloane Stephens for the first time in her career, reaching a second consecutive Madrid final. There, she beat world No. 3 Simona Halep in straight sets, winning her first Premier Mandatory title, beating four former Grand Slam champions along the way and becoming the first to win Madrid without dropping a set. By doing so, she reached a new career-high ranking of No. 4.
Bertens was an early favorite to win the French Open but was forced to retire due to illness in her second-round match against Viktória Kužmová.
Kiki's older sister Joyce works as a business consultant and helps manage her finances. Kiki married her physiotherapist Remko de Rijke on November 30th 2019.
Grand Slam performance timelines
|Australian Open||A||A||A||Q2||1R||1R||2R||1R||1R||3R||2R||4R||0 / 8||7–8|
|French Open||A||A||Q1||1R||1R||4R||1R||SF||2R||3R||2R||0 / 8||12–8|
|Wimbledon||A||A||A||2R||1R||Q1||1R||3R||1R||QF||3R||0 / 7||9–7|
|US Open||A||A||Q1||2R||1R||1R||2R||1R||1R||3R||3R||0 / 8||6–8|
|Win–Loss||0–0||0–0||0–0||2–3||0–4||3–3||2–4||7–4||1–4||10–4||6–4||3–1||0 / 31||34–31|
|Australian Open||A||1R||1R||QF||1R||2R||1R||A||A||0 / 6||4–6|
|French Open||1R||1R||A||1R||QF||3R||3R||A||0 / 6||7–6|
|Wimbledon||A||A||A||1R||2R||1R||3R||A||0 / 4||3–4|
|US Open||1R||2R||1R||3R||2R||3R||2R||A||0 / 7||7–7|
|Win–Loss||0–2||1–3||0–2||5–4||5–4||5–4||5–4||0–0||0–0||0 / 23||21–23|