Elise Mertens brought red clay tracks to the US Open safety bubble.
Mertens’ double bubble approach has helped her make a successful surface transition.
Earlier this month, Mertens reached the Prague Open final on red clay falling to Simona Halep.
In the aftermath of her 6-2, 7-6(5) Western & Southern Open semifinal loss to Naomi Osaka today, Mertens said creating her own bubble—bringing passion and focus to every point—has been key to her smooth transition to the fast Flushing Meadows hard courts devoid of fans.
“Well, of course it’s a little different. It’s always going to be different,” Mertens said of playing without a crowd. “Because when you have those close points or like on a 5-All on second set, you really have the crowd behind you or behind the opponent, also.
“Yeah, it’s a little quiet, but it’s also, if you have the passion of tennis and you have really the motivation after those five months, then it can make a difference if you have those two. But of course you have your team, and also if you try to focus point per point and stay in that little bubble you have, then, yeah, then it’s more positively.”
Photo credit: @CincyTennis Western & Southern Open