The Belgian number 1 is said to suffer from a sore thigh and does not want to take any risks for the Australian Open, the first grand slam tournament of the year, which starts on January 17.

Mertens, the number four in the world doubles ranking, would also double this week in Melbourne, with her new partner, Russian Veronika Kudermetova.

2022 should be the year of the renewed affiliation with the top (ten) and for that purpose quite a few adjustments were made in the Hamont household. Coach and friend Robbe Ceyssens was thanked for services rendered and a new fitness trainer and coach was appointed with the French-speaking Quentin Struckmeyer and Simon Goffin. “I worked with Robbe for five years,” said Mertens from Melbourne Park on Sunday night. “I needed a switch, I was looking for a new vision, a different perspective. I’ll only speak French now, but that’s good for me. We’ll see if it works, but for now it’s going well.” 

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David Goffin’s brother has not had much time to lay his own accents. The intermediate season was short and sweet again due to Mertens’ participation in the Masters in Mexico. “I was happy to be home for a while”, smiled the number four in the doubles world. “It was also nice to be able to celebrate Christmas. But it’s always nice to swap the cold Belgium for sunny Melbourne.” 

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