Kiki Bertens, the Dutch international quantity 10, is the newest WTA Excursion big name to characteristic in a BBC Recreation column. In her 2d piece from the Australian Open, the 2016 French Open semi-finalist talks concerning the forthcoming comeback of her idol Kim Clijsters, why she isn’t happy after a fit and the way she tries to not communicate tennis along with her husband on the dinner desk.
Even if I by no means in point of fact favored observing tennis an excessive amount of when I used to be rising up, it’s honest to mention Kim Clijsters used to be my idol.
Kim used to be an ideal participant, an ideal individual and an ideal champion. Plus she is from Belgium, in point of fact with regards to the place I’m from, so it’s lovely evident why I favored her.
That intended I used to be in point of fact satisfied to look her announce a comeback on the age of 36 after greater than seven years clear of the WTA Excursion.
It got here as a whole marvel to me. I by no means noticed it coming. However now I am pondering it will be nice if I may play her at some point.
I do not understand how I might really feel if that used to be to occur, however in fact I might wish to beat her! That is the case with each and every participant.
Her recreation used to be excellent to observe; she used to be in point of fact competitive and her motion used to be excellent.
We can have to look how a hit her comeback goes to be. Possibly it would possibly not be that straightforward.
Maria Sharapova and Victoria Azarenka are examples of different former Grand Slam winners who’ve attempted to return again after a very long time away.
It isn’t as simple because it used to be prior to – I feel the extent is so prime and everybody can play in point of fact smartly.
It’ll be difficult for Kim and I do not know how she is shaping up now.
However she used to be an ideal athlete in her high and you’ll be able to’t rule anything else out. So let’s examine what occurs.
‘I wish to play extra aggressively’
I began the Australian Open with a 6-1 6-Four win towards Romania’s Irina-Camelia Begu on Tuesday – however, regardless of the scoreline, I used to be no longer totally satisfied.
In fact I’m proud of the outcome, however I’m by no means in point of fact happy with how I play. There may be all the time one thing that I wish to do higher.
I feel profitable by means of that scoreline and no longer being totally happy is a great signal. And this can be a signal of ways some distance I’ve come over the last few years – and that I nonetheless need extra.
My self belief has grown such a lot previously few years that even if I am not enjoying my best possible, I nonetheless really feel calm on court docket and give you the option to win.
Towards Begu, I used to be no longer enjoying in point of fact aggressively, except my serve, which I used in point of fact smartly.
The remainder of my recreation used to be extra about shifting so much backward and forward, making as many balls as I may and simply hanging it again within the court docket.
For the following fit, and if I wish to move deeper within the match, I can need to play extra aggressively.
‘Enjoying a brand new opponent calls for some homework’
On Thursday, I can play Arina Rodionova in the second one around – she is an Australian wildcard who I have by no means confronted prior to.
This is going to be a tricky one, like any suits are at a Grand Slam. She had a excellent first-round win, dropping the outlet set to Ukraine’s Kateryna Bondarenko prior to turning the fit round.
Arina is from Melbourne so I am positive she could have the gang in the back of her, however that doesn’t faze me.
It’s in point of fact thrilling after I play somebody I’ve by no means performed prior to. My trainer Elise Tamaela went to observe her fit to learn how she is enjoying.
Typically I depend on Elise going to a fit and paying attention to what she tells me about an opponent, in addition to drawing by myself studies.
But when I have by no means performed a woman prior to, then I can additionally watch movies of her play on the web. That is my homework.
I can watch it and notice what she did smartly however I feel it’s extra necessary to be aware of my very own strengths.
‘How my husband and I juggle tennis and marriage’
As I informed you in my first column, I were given married in the summertime to my husband Remko, who is a part of my crew.
He’s a physio and a health teacher, however a trainer as smartly, and my trainer Elise may be a health teacher and physio. So they may be able to do each – and if I am not proud of one, then I will be able to transfer to the opposite!
It’s nice he is a part of our crew as a result of in a different way we would don’t have any time to look every different.
Remko has his personal tennis academy in Belgium so he travels with us for part of the yr.
I feel it’s excellent that he travels with us simplest part of the time, and no longer complete time, as a result of I feel that will make it a bit bit more difficult.
We set up to steadiness our paintings and personal existence really well; we’ve got discovered an effective way to try this.
More often than not once we are on website at a match it’s paintings, and that in point of fact begins when he’s doing my warm-up prior to apply.
On the finish of the day, when we’ve got completed stretching and the remainder of my restoration regimen, he turns into my husband once more and the paintings stops.
Then we will be able to do customary stuff as husband and spouse, opt for a pleasing dinner, watch a film or simply chill out.
After we are having dinner in a cafe, we strive no longer to discuss tennis – however every so often it’s arduous.
Does whoever carry as much as tennis first on the dinner desk need to pay the invoice? Now not at the present time. However that is a good suggestion, possibly we will be able to get started doing that!
Kiki Bertens used to be chatting with BBC Recreation’s Jonathan Jurejko at Melbourne Park