AMSTERDAM, Netherlands - World No.9 Kiki Bertens will miss the start of 2021 season, including the Australian Open, after undergoing surgery on her Achilles tendon in Amsterdam, she announced on Instagram today. 

“Some of you might know that I already had an Achilles injury for some time,” Bertens wrote. “The only possibility for me to play without pain again and get the maximum out of trainings and matches was to get a surgery. So that’s what I did now!” she added, along with a photo of herself recovering. 

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Bertens has indeed been plagued by Achilles pain throughout the 2020 season, having to pull out of the Adelaide International due to a flareup of the injury. It also kept her from competing in doubles at the Australian Open with Ashleigh Barty, after the pair reached the Brisbane International final at the start of the year. 

The Dutch player rallied in St. Petersburg, where she defended her crown to lift her tenth WTA trophy at the Premier event in February before the tour’s suspension. But despite the six month layoff, Bertens continued to struggle with the Achilles injury, and was forced to retire in her opening match at the Internationaux de Strasbourg in September.

Read more: Back-to-back: Bertens rolls to second straight St. Petersburg title

“I will miss the start of 2021, so unfortunately I won’t be competing in Australia. I will try my best to come back stronger as fast as I can,” Bertens added with a ‘flexed arm’ emoji. “Can’t wait to see you guys on tour soon again!”

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