World number one Osaka exits Madrid Open

World number one Osaka exits Madrid Open

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.

With this outcome, Naomi Osaka will stay ahead of Simona Halep at the top of the WTA rankings list while Bertens moves inside the top-4 for the first time in a career, joining the list with some big names who have managed to conquer events at this level before her.

The Japanese star's best tournament showing since her Grand Slam win came in Germany in April, when she reached the semi-finals of the Stuttgart Open only to be forced out of the tournament with an abdominal injury. "She deserved to win the match, definitely", she said. "I played some good tennis and will be number four in the world on Monday, it is just all wonderful things", Bertens added.

"It's a nice feeling to be back in the final of this special tournament, I'm really happy playing here", said Halep.

Having overcome three former major champions to storm into her second successive Madrid final, Bertens started somewhat sluggishly, with Halep breaking serve to take a 4-2 lead.

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"She played better tennis tonight. I'm just happy how I was able to finish the match". "I'm in the semi-finals, I beat the world number one and I turned the match around".

The first set saw five breaks of serve in six games from 2-1 for Halep, with Bertens seizing three straights good return games for a 6-4 after 37 minutes.

Two-time Madrid victor Halep broke the unseeded Bencic in the first game of the first set, the Swiss' errant reverse flying out, but she broke back to tie at 2-2.

"It's always long rallies with her".

"But this is a different surface (than Dubai), a different city, different conditions".

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