Kiki Bertens analysed the keys to this year’s Mutua Madrid Open, where she will be defending the crown she won in 2019. The Dutch player will open in the Caja Mágica against Andorran young gun Victoria Jiménez Kasintseva, aged just 15, who received a wildcard from the organisers.
On her form coming into the Mutua Madrid Open: “I played a match during the Billie Jean King Cup, and I had to pull out again of Stuttgart. I took some rest, let my body rest a little. Now I feel ready to compete again”.
Will her good memories of Madrid give her a confidence boost this year?: ”I feel good once I step on the court. I’m feeling the ball well. I’m looking forward to my first-round match, see how that goes. Hopefully I’ll have some more matches and go from there, be stronger every day”.
What does Madrid mean in her career: “A lot. In 2017 once I reached the quarters, that was a really, really big step and in 2019 I won the tournament. I think the altitude is helping me a little bit. The balls are great. Of course, the courts, I really love them. Especially when you play on the centre court or the other two courts, it’s kind of indoors. For me, it’s the perfect conditions to play tennis”.
Victoria Jiménez will be her first opponent: “I’ve seen her, but I don’t know how she really plays. I think for her to get the opportunity to play here, it’s great. It’s always good to see new faces, especially the younger ones. I have to prepare, get some info, see how she’s playing. I just have to go with my own game to prepare well for the first round”.
On her video-game skills after winning the MMOpen Virtual Pro in 2020: “Well, to be honest, it was my first time that I played on a PlayStation. When I was younger, I had a Game Boy. I love to play board games, though. That’s what we do a lot at home. Also on the tour, you always see me and my team playing games. It was fun to do, the tournaments did something for us to make it more fun to have at least some competition”.