Mertens injury update: will the Belgian play at Wimbledon?

The 2023 Wimbledon is just around the corner and one of the most accomplished and consistent players on the female tour the world number 7 Elise Mertens is in danger of missing out. The Belgian has reached at least round 3 in 20 of her last 21 Grand Slams, she became world number 1 back in May 2021 too but it seems just a week before Wimbledon she sustained a serious hip injury. Here is what we know about Mertens’ condition.

Elise Mertens
Elise Mertens in action during her Women’s singles match against Karolina Pliskova on day three of the Rothesay International Eastbourne at Devonshire Park. Picture date: Monday June 26, 2023. – Photo by Icon sport

Why Elise Mertens retired from Eastbourne?

Elise Mertens reached round 4 of the recently finished French Open. However, since then she has had health issues and her grass court season hasn’t been much to talk about. Mertens was forced to retire from her ‘s-Hertogenbosch doubles quarterfinal in early June due to a lower back injury.

Mertens then took a week off and underwent some therapy for her back. She looked fit and ready to go at the start of this week. The Belgian breezed past her first game at Eastbourne but then in round 3 early in the 3rd set against Karolina Pliskova in what was a very even match up to that point Mertens hurt her left hip and had to retire. It seemed that this new hip injury has no relation to her recent lower back problems. No such connection has been mentioned yet.

Latest update on Elise Mertens’s health and injury status

Elise Mertens gave an update on her health on Thursday morning when speaking to a Belgian radio station. This is what she said: “There are still medical tests taking place today (Thursday) and tomorrow (Friday). My hip is painful right now. Can’t train. I hope it’s nothing serious. Still, waiting for more results to come in. We’re taking it day-by-day right now. We’ll see if I’m ready for the weekend.”

It seems Mertens is worried about her Wimbledon prospects and even if she takes part she won’t be 100% fit.

Could Mertens be forced to miss Wimbledon?

Elise Mertens has reached at least round 3 in all of her last 4 Wimbledon appearances. She is also back-to-back doubles finalists at Wimbledon with Mertens the doubles champion in 2021.

The Belgian is yet to rule herself out of the tournament and by all accounts she’s exploring all possibilities. We can’t exclude the possibility of Mertens deciding not to risk her body though. After the back injury in early June was followed by this fresh hip problem just this week it’s obvious that her physical condition is far from optimal.

Considering, that US Open is Mertens’ favourite and most successful Grand Slam we can see the possibility of her dropping out of Wimbledon and using the next few weeks to repair her body and restore her fitness for when the Tour moves back to America.

It would be sad not to see one of the most accomplished players and certainly one of the main favourites for the women’s doubles title not playing at the 2023 Wimbledon. Not all hope is lost though and it seems a lot will depend on the medical test results on Friday.

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