Alisson van Uytvanck was allowed to start against Storm Sanders, but was unable to play much against the Australian after not playing a competitive match in months. She fell without a chance twice 6-2.
So there was a lot of pressure on Elise Mertens’ shoulders and that became too heavy for her literally and figuratively. She had to retire in the second set due to a shoulder injury.
However, she had started the match strong, but obviously a shoulder injury played some tricks on her during the rescue. Due to Mertens’ resignation, the match was already decided, because Belgium had to win to get another chance.
Doubles were played very comfortably, since the match was already lost. Ysaline Bonaventure replaced Elise Mertens alongside Kirsten Flipkens, but they also couldn’t win a set against Australian duo Storm Sanders and Samantha Stosur.
The Belgians exited the Billie Jean King Cup with just one counter win, yesterday against Slovakia. This is a tough judgment for the Belgians, who have already set their sights on a place in the semi-finals.
“I knew I had to win two sets, but after the first set my shoulder started hurting,” Elise Mertens says afterwards.
“I didn’t want to show it, but against the top 30 players you have to be up front both physically and mentally. I started to break down a bit and couldn’t keep going.”
“The schedule was not good,” Mertens continues. I just got out of the WTA Finals. “If we didn’t have to go to another continent we might have fought a more equal fight. I don’t often look for excuses, but I feel the planning could have been better.”
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