Kiki Bertens announced her retirement from professional tennis Tuesday.
Representing The Netherlands, Bertens’ record includes 10 WTA singles titles from 15 finals, the first of them on clay at Fès in 2012 – which she won as a qualifier, making just her second main-draw appearance after playing only sparingly on the junior circuit.
In 2018, Bertens won her first WTA 500 title at Charleston (def. Julia Goerges in the final), followed by victory later that summer at WTA 1000 Western & Southern Open in Cincinnati (def. World No.1 Simona Halep in the final, her fourth Top 10 win of the week and first over a reigning No.1).
The following year, Bertens won the biggest title of her career, at the 2019 Mutua Madrid Open, defeating three Top 10 players – No.2 Petra Kvitova (QF), No.8 Sloane Stephens (SF) and No.3 Simona Halep (F). Bertens was the first woman to win the title without conceding a set.
Additionally, Bertens twice successfully defended singles titles, on the red clay of Nürnberg (2016-17) and indoors at St. Petersburg (2019-20). Other notable finals appearances came at Madrid in 2018 (l. Kvitova) and the WTA Elite Trophy, Zhuhai in 2019 (l. Aryna Sabalenka). Making her debut at the WTA Finals in Singapore in 2018, she advanced to the semis before falling to eventual champion Elina Svitolina.
By rising to World No.4 on the WTA Rankings on May 13, 2019, Bertens passed her countrywoman, Betty Stöve as the highest-ranked Dutchwoman of all time – the 1977 Wimbledon finalist peaked at No.5 in singles. (Brenda Schultz-McCarthy also made the Top 10, rising as high as No.9 in 1996.)
After making her Top 10 debut in October 2018, Bertens went on to close out her career with three successive Top 10 seasons, finishing at World No.9 from 2018-20.
In Grand Slam play, Bertens made a semifinal run on her favored red clay at Roland Garros in 2016, where she upset four seeds before falling to World No.1 Serena Williams. She also reached the quarterfinals at Wimbledon in 2018, defeating Top 10-ranked Venus Williams and Karolina Pliskova before falling to Goerges.
In doubles, Bertens rose to No.16 and captured 10 titles from 16 finals, most recently at 2018 Brisbane partnering with compatriot Demi Schuurs. All nine of her other titles – including four in 2017 alone – were won with Sweden’s Johanna Larsson. That year, Bertens-Larsson advanced to the title match at the WTA Finals in Singapore, where they were edged by the team of Babos/Sestini Hlavackova for the title. They also reached two Grand Slam quarterfinals together (2015 Australian Open and 2016 Roland Garros).
In addition to being a two-time Olympian – besides Tokyo, she also competed at Rio in 2016 – Bertens boasts a decade of service for The Netherlands in Billie Jean King Cup. After making her team debut in 2011, she went 21-2 in singles and 6-3 in doubles across 21 ties, including a semifinal run in 2016 (l. France).
During her career, Bertens posted an impressive 23 wins against Top 10 opponents, including a WTA-leading 12 wins in 2018. That same year she was voted the WTA’s Most Improved Player, while in 2019 she won the WTA’s Jerry Diamond ACES Award, which recognizes the player who goes above and beyond to promote the sport.
Bertens registered her second career win over a World No.1 by defeating Ashleigh Barty at the 2019 WTA Finals in Shenzhen, as an alternate. In 2019, only Barty won more matches on tour (56) than Bertens (55), and only Pliskova (488) served more aces than Bertens’ 457.
“Kiki’s exciting game and sporting demeanor made her a fabulous ambassador for women’s tennis,” Steve Simon, Chairman and CEO of the WTA, said. “She will be missed by the WTA family and fans around the world, and I wish her all the best for the future.”
Currently ranked World No.21, Bertens leaves the game with a win-loss record of 443-265 and career prize money of $11,653,190.