History-making Bertens triumphs in Madrid to halt Halep climb

History-making Bertens triumphs in Madrid to halt Halep climb

Naomi Osaka is not too anxious for the French Open, despite admitting she was distracted by "too many things" in her 3-6, 6-2, 7-5 Madrid Open quarter-final loss to Belinda Bencic on Thursday.

A victory in the title match would be the 19th of Halep's career and would also allow her to regain the World No. 1 ranking.

But Bertens more than played her part, a deserving victor and the first woman ever to win the title without even dropping a set. In this season Simona played and lost the final in Doha against Elise Mertens (in her career she won 18 titles in 24 finals played), while Bertens played and won the final in St. "I didn't want to lose twice in a row", said Osaka, who was also defeated by Bencic at Indian Wells in March. She loves clay. She loves to play here as well.

Halep said: "It's an unbelievable tournament for me, very special". "I was lucky that during the week I had short matches. 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.

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Bertens missed out again but earned a third championship point when Halep narrowly missed the baseline and she finally seized her ninth WTA title when the world number two hit a backhand out. I played like stupid today, everything that she liked.

Bertens had to save three set points against Stephens but eventually recorded her first victory against the American in their third encounter. After a hold, she broke to clinch the set with another backhand victor to send the match to a third set. I wanted to do that, but I was thinking about it while I was playing, which wasn't a good thing. It was a good match from her. "I'm just happy how I was able to finish the match". "I'm sad I didn't win but Kiki deserved to win, she played the better tennis and all week the best tennis, so congratulations".

"It's going to be really tough (against Halep), we played each other in the past so I know it will be a tough battle, but I'm ready for it, one more push here".

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