Kiki Bertens Beats Simona Halep for Madrid Open Title
(May 11, 2019) Last year’s runner-up is this year’s winner of the women’s title at the Madrid Open.
Dutchwoman Kiki Bertens won the biggest title of her WTA tour career by besting No. 3 Simona Halep of Romania 6-4, 6-4 on Saturday.
The victory gave Bertens her eighth career main tour tennis title and first Premier Mandatory event crown.
Her win also prevented Halep from going back up to the No. spot in the rankings. Naomi Osaka will remain atop the rankings for another week.
“I think I played very solid today. I think at the beginning, I was a little bit searching for my game still, but I think the rest of the match I played really solid, really smart, and I was just going for my shots,” said Bertens.
“Maybe a little bit lucky like on the 4-3 game when I hit the ball in the fence and it hit her, but sometimes you need a little luck.”
“I think Simona, when she is at her best, she really tries to playing aggressive, like sometimes she saw today I was opening cross-court and then she was hitting down the line to my backhand again, like pretty hard, and then I was really struggling with that.
“So she, I would say, she tried to step a little bit more in the court and I think that’s when she plays at her best, but, yes, sometimes it is tough, like. With my shots when I try to hit it a bit higher, and with more spin on that, she cannot do that.
“So it’s, yeah, it was a little bit like, sometimes she played a few good games and I was playing well again, so the momentum switched a little bit during the match, but yeah, I think I played more solid today.”
“I think she played better tennis tonight,” said two-time Madrid winner Halep. “She deserved to win the match definitely. About my game, I think I played wrong, and I’m upset about that. But I’m not going to make a drama. I’m just thinking for the next one, when I will play against her, to change some things. I played like stupid today, everything that she liked. But it’s happening sometimes and I can take all the positives from this week.
“I couldn’t believe at the beginning I would be in the final, so I will just calm down, I will analyze more and I will be nicer to me because I don’t deserve to be very hard.
“It was a good match from her. And she deserved to win the title because she played the whole week really good tennis.”
Bertens beat four major winners en route to the title – Jelena Ostapenko (2017 French Open), Petra Kvitova (2 Wimbledon titles), Sloane Stephens (2017 US Open) and Halep (2018 French Open).
Bertens is the first woman to win the tournament without dropping a set.
As a result of her career week, Bertens will rise to No. 4 in the world, the highest ranking for a Dutchwoman ever.
“I just feel really happy,” Bertens said in her news conference. “I am really proud of this week. I played some good tennis. No. 4 in the world on Monday, so it’s, yeah. I don’t know, it is just all amazing things.”