Halep to face Bertens in Madrid Open final

Florence Fletcher
May 15, 2019

Kiki Bertens of the Netherlands beat third-seeded Simona Halep of Romania 6-4, 6-4 to win the Mutua Madrid Open on Saturday.

Halep, the victor in Madrid in 2016 and 2017, would have returned to the world number one spot with victory, but Bertens became the first woman to win the title without dropping a set.

Friday's victory over Bencic avenged two consecutive defeats to the Swiss.

In the first set, both the players exchanged early breaks but Simona Halep broke back to get a 3-2 lead.

Bencic, a former top-10 player before injury struck several seasons ago, is back in the top 20 and determined to lift her standing further. It was one-way traffic as her challenge petered out. Halep won eight break points in the match.

Halep is the reigning champion at Roland Garros but has struggled at major tournaments since her debut victory past year.

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Third-seeded Halep found herself in an unusual semifinal against unseeded Belinda Bencic of Switzerland. I wanted to win this match so much because she'd beaten me before. What makes her path to that easier is the defeat of Petra Kvitova in another quarter-final. In contrast, Bencic's only clay semi-final came in Charleston in 2014, despite having won the junior French Open in 2013. WTA Madrid final - Percentages Simona Halep 51% Kiki Bertens 49%. She returned with a renewed sense of objective, passion, and perspective, and the result has been a meteoric rise through the rankings and transformation into an all-court threat. I played stupidly today, I did everything that she liked.

"I am extremely disappointed to have my time in Madrid end in this way". Due to Osaka's quarterfinal loss, Halep would return to the world no. 1 ranking with a triumph over Bertens. But they had never played on clay.

On this evidence, she will be a serious contender at the French Open later this month, where Bertens reached the semi-finals in 2016 only to be stopped by Serena Williams.

It will come down to a battle between Bertens and her power game against Halep's more polished all-around play.

Bertens earned her first championship point with a scorching ace but Halep saved it with a drop volley at the net, only to then hand her rival another one by finding the net with a careless shot.

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