Zizou Bergs attempted to qualify for the main draw for the Grand Slam for the first time in Melbourne. But in his first qualifying match against Ukrainian Vitaly Satsjko, he was injured in the third set 6-3, 6-7 (5/7), 3-2.
“In the third set, I had a lot of pain in my knee. I couldn’t keep playing this way and I pulled the plug,” Burgess says. “I attended my physiotherapist, but he can’t do anything about it so quickly.”
It is not a new injury. “It’s been there for a while. We know what it is and it’s not that bad, but the pain comes and goes. While preparing, we adjusted my presentation style and the pain faded.”
“But in Australia my knee is starting to play again. I may have let the new style loosen up a bit. I had pain in the tournament in Bendigo last week and today I am in pain again.”
Berg set his sights on the main draw. “It’s annoying when you feel like the best player. At 5-4 in the second set I could have finished serving myself, but I didn’t take my chance and in the tiebreak I let myself fall.”
“The disappointment is huge, because these are the moments to look forward to. There are only 4 Grand Slams in a year. A lot of work has been put into them, but I’m convinced I can put it right exactly. I’m doing really well in many domains and there are many tournaments to come.”
Another tournament coming soon. “I am now looking forward to when I can go home and then prepare for the Challenger tournament in Quimper, which will start at the end of January,” the 22-year-old said. “That’s the great thing about tennis, there are so many tournaments in the year and there are so many opportunities.”
Did he start the year on a false note? “It’s a small setback, because I’ve felt like I’ve been improving in recent months. I’ve narrowly lost the last matches and getting off the injury is also a setback.”
“But the ball can start rolling again very quickly,” Bergs keeps his spirits high. “My breakout into the top 100 will happen this year, and I still have a lot of faith in that. Not because it’s a little disappointing at first that you can’t make up for it. Not much wasted space in that.”
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