Friday, 25 May, 2018

Kvitova prevails to claim record third Madrid Open title

Kiki Bertens made light work of Caroline Garcia- winning 6-2 6-2 to reach Saturday's final Kiki Bertens made light work of Caroline Garcia- winning 6-2 6-2 to reach Saturday's final
Cary Erickson | 15 May, 2018, 22:41

Petra Kvitova, the Queen of Clay?

The pair then traded breaks midway through before heading to a tie-break, and though Kvitova squandered two set points, the two-time Wimbledon champion clinched it 8-6 at the third time of asking.

The Dutchwoman had beaten Caroline Wozniacki and Maria Sharapova in a sparkling week in the Spanish capital to reach her first premier mandatory final and recovered well from surrendering the first set to take the second.

Petra Kvitova became the first woman to win three Madrid Open titles after edging a titanic tussle against Kiki Bertens in the final.

The Czech had to come from behind to win the final in Prague against Mihaela Buzarnescu, but Kvitova ensured she would not require a similar fightback by winning the first set in this one. 'I didn't really expect that, even the same time a year ago. Even coming from Prague last week, I didn't think I could be in the final, winning another trophy.

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She also said mixing it up against Garcia was a key to her success: "She likes when the ball comes from the hip so I was just trying to play as many different balls as I could".

"Every title feels great". Bertens, who had won five of her previous six finals, including on clay in Charleston earlier this year, led 4-2 with a break in the first set before Kvitova roared back, retrieving the break in the next game.

She improved her impressive win-loss record in career finals to 24-7.

"I think I can be really proud of myself, like seeing myself where I'm coming from", said Bertens to the press, having a hard time holding back her emotions. 'I think I made pretty big steps in that. I think you can see that. "Maybe tomorrow or next week or in a few weeks I can really look back on a great week and know I'm on the right way".

After digging out of 15-30 to hold, Bertens again displayed her outstanding defensive skills to set up another break chance, duly taken when the world number seven missed a backhand volley, the world number 20 in cruise control with a double break lead at 4-1.