Published: Tue, May 14, 2019
Sport | By Kayla Schwartz

WTA Madrid final preview: Halep and Bertens will fight for the crown

WTA Madrid final preview: Halep and Bertens will fight for the crown

Kiki Bertens of the Netherlands beat Romania's world number three Simona Halep in the final of the Women's Tennis Association Madrid Open.

World number one Djokovic was untroubled as he beat Jeremy Chardy 6-1 7-6 (2) to set up a clash against Marin Cilic after the Croatian battled past Serbian Laslo Djere 4-6 6-3 6-2.

The 7th-ranked Bertens will vault to a career-high No. 4 becoming the first Dutchwoman to crack the Top 5. "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.

Can Kim Bertens get done what she couldn't finish past year, or will Simona Halep finally complete a 2019 journey?

Bertens, who lost to Kvitova in last year's final, has yet to drop a set in Madrid, although Halep leads the head-to-head record 3-2.

Roger Federer survived two match points against French maverick Gael Monfils to extend his claycourt comeback and reach the quarter-finals of the Madrid Open on Thursday.

Osaka had her chances though.

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Bencic defeated former number one Halep on her way to the Dubai hardcourt trophy in February.

Already with one win under her belt this year at St. Petersburg, Russia, Bertens will seek to finish the journey she came within a step of completing a year ago. "And she deserved to win the title because she played really good tennis throughout the whole week".

Halep battled back to 4-3 but looked beaten when a series of gutsy retrievals saw Bertens fluff her smash, only for the ball to smack Halep full on the thigh, three feet behind the baseline.

Tsitsipas' stunning victory means he reaches his fourth ATP final of the season, while fully vindicating those that have him circled as a future star of the men's game.

"Of course, I'm very happy", the world No. 18 said.

It might be too early to expect the world No. 9 to challenge at Roland Garros later this month but, with a fearless style and formidable forehand, Tsitsipas is developing a habit for delivering on the big stage. Bencic also beat the double Grand Slam victor in March at Indian Wells.

By his own high standards, Nadal's clay-court swing has been disappointing. In contrast, Bencic's only clay semi-final came in Charleston in 2014, despite having won the junior French Open in 2013. "I don't think that's going to change", said Bencic.

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