August 9, 2019,

Excuses and reasons for not accomplishing great things are cheap and plentiful.

If “ifs” and “buts” we’re candy and nuts, we’d all have a Merry Christmas.

If the women’s tennis professional tour were played on clay courts year round, it would be Christmas 365 days a year for the Dutch powerhouse Kiki Bertens.

If, only if.

No matter. Kiki is excelling on the hard courts as well.

Heading into the 2018 US Open Kiki garnered attention due to making recent strides on the hard courts.

We sense Kiki would love to hum super star Tom Jones melody “It’s Not Unusual” as she was gaining one victory after another but in many ways, those victories have been unusual.

As posted by the New York Times on August 20, 2018, “Before this summer, Kiki Bertens was perhaps the closest thing modern women’s tennis had to a clay-court specialist.

She had won five WTA titles, all on clay, the most recent this April in Charleston, S.C. The biggest final of her career was on the clay of Madrid. Her best Grand Slam result was a run to the semifinals of the 2016 French Open, where she lost a close two-set battle to Serena Williams.”

Since childhood, most of us who love to play in the clay, absolutely feel that Kiki is ready to play at an elite level with the big girls on the hard courts as well.

Previously away from the sanctuary of the clay courts, Kiki had a zero-11 won-lost record and had not reached the final of any grass or hardcourt tournament.

But after strong results at Wimbledon and on North American hardcourts, our Dutch heroine  heads to New York as a contender to play deep into the 2018 US Open tournament.

Ms. Bertens has pounded out an 8-0 record against top-10 players on grass and hardcourts during the summer of 2018.

Kiki has defeated Venus Williams and Karolina Pliskova at Wimbledon, then beat Pliskova and Petra Kvitova in Montreal two weeks ago.

Things are looking up, even away from the clay.

Time to peek at her stellar resume.

Kiki Bertens 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.

Applause please.

Her career high in doubles is world No. 16, achieved in April 2018. To date, she has won nine singles titles and ten doubles titles on the WTA Tour including 2018 Western & Southern Open and 2019 Mutua Madrid Open.

Our star 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.

Mr. Van der Brugghen recognized her ability and continued to coach her primarily to help her reach her potential.

When we are young, we can’t emphasize enough how it is so important to have capable adults in our corner who have our best interests in mind.

In an interview he expressed, “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.”

Kiki has come far and given her recent growth and the new longevity of today’s professional tennis player, many of whom are playing deep into their thirties, she still has far to go.

While she will always appreciate her previous mentors, in 2015, she changed coaches from Christiaan de Jong to Raemon Sluiter.

The world got a closer look at what Kiki can do. During the 2018 Australian Open she defeated  Americans CiCi Bellis and Nicole Gibbs in the first two rounds before falling to world No. 2 and eventual winner, Caroline Wozniacki.


She started off her season at the Brisbane International, beating Elise Mertens and losing to Donna Vekić.

At the Australian Open, she defeated Alison Riske in the first round before losing to Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova in the second.

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 started off her clay-court season at the Charleston Open as defending champion.

Kiki had a sensational run 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.

As of this August 9, 2019 writing she is lodged at number 5.

We are extremely excited about her chances to run deep at this year’s 2019 US Open.

Let’s now take a closer look at the world that Kiki is from.

Wateringen is a town in the Dutch province of South Holland. It is a part of the municipality of Westland, and lies about 5 km southwest of The Hague.

The village of Wateringen has a population of around 10,860.

The Hague is a city on the western coast of the Netherlands and the capital of the province of South Holland.

With a metropolitan population of more than 1 million, it is the third-largest city in the Netherlands, after Amsterdam and Rotterdam. The Rotterdam–The Hague metropolitan area, with a population of approximately 2.7 million, is the 13th-largest in the European Union and the most populous in the country.

The Hague is a fascinating place to visit for many reasons.

The world travelers at Lonely Planet smile, “The Netherlands’ third-largest city, Den Haag, is a stately, regal place filled with embassies and mansions, green boulevards and parks, a refined culinary scene, a clutch of fine museums and a sybaritic cafe culture. Conversely, its seaside suburb of Scheveningen has a loud and lively kitsch and a long stretch of beach.”

Sounds very nice. Kiki is from a fascinating and very important part of the world.

In the 20th century Den Haag became the home of several international legal entities, including the UN’s International Court of Justice, which regularly holds trials that put Den Haag in the headlines.

It is the principal judicial organ of the United Nations (UN). It settles legal disputes between member states.

Did you see the fictional but engaging television series that highlights the importance of the International Court of Justice?

The timeless, regal and powerful actor Donald Sutherland led the way.

Crossing Lines is a German-French-Italian-American television series created by Edward Allen Bernero and Rola Bauer. The series was premiered on June 9, 2013., Sony Pictures Television photo credit

Netflix carried the series’ first two seasons, and announced the debut of season three on February 19, 2015. They share, “In pursuit of justice, the International Criminal Court’s special crime unit hunts down lawbreakers whose offenses cross borders in Europe.”

We binged on all three seasons with our eyes riveted to the screen.

Kiki has the eyes of tennis fans riveted to the courts.

There is no doubt about it that Kiki is making a move on other surfaces besides clay.

Given her recent success, as she continues to use her magnificent strength to power her way to one victory after another in pursuit of victories on the International courts, It’s Not Unusual will become her new theme song with a different top spin.

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