Bertens shocks Halep to lift Madrid title

Ross Houston
May 14, 2019

Simona Halep closed in on a return to the top of the world rankings after beating Belinda Bencic 6-2, 6-7 (2/7), 6-0 on Friday to advance to the Madrid Open final while men's top seed Novak Djokovic made the semi-finals without hitting a ball.

Halep earlier finally lost a set but took the last six games from Belinda Bencic with a 6-2, 6-7 (2), 6-0 win.

Bertens, during her path to the final, defeated rivals such as Katerina Siniakova, Jelena Ostapenko, Petra Kvitova and Sloane Stephens, without losing a single set during the tournament.

The Romanian, Simona Halep opened the match and made a hold by surviving the crosscourt forehands from Kiki Bertens' end.


"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".

But Bertens brushed aside the favourite, making history with a hugely impressive display, becoming the first woman to win the Madrid Open without dropping a set.

"It is normal at this level, I expect tough matches all the time", Halep told reporters. "But always when I step on the court I'm ready for a three-hour match, so I'm okay".

"I found Simona was playing better than me the whole match", Bencic assessed.


She will climb up to take the world number four spot in the WTA rankings which will be released on Monday.

The 27-year-old player from the Netherlands looked dominant throughout the summit showdown as she eased past reigning French Open champion Halep 6-4, 6-4 in nearly one and a half hour to lift the title.

"I think I played wrong, and I'm upset about that".

"I just feel really happy", Bertens said in her news conference. "We have had great battles in the past". I don't know what was going on. "She deserved to win the match, definitely", she said. I'm just thinking for the next one, when I will play against her, to change some things. I love it also here. The Romanian and the Dutch will compete for the first time since the Western & Southern Open 2018, in Cincinnati.


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