Petra Kvitova: Madrid Open title win is sweet and weird
15 May, 2018, 22:41 | Author: Candice Daniels
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.
It was the Czechs 24th career title, and fourth of the year along with St. Petersburg, Doha and Prague.
Petra Kvitova outlasted her Dutch opponent Kiki Bertens to win a historic third Madrid Open title.
Czech Kvitova, ranked 10th in the world, struck the first blow in a tense match which lasted two hours 52 minutes by edging the tie-break at the end of a gruelling 75-minute first set, taking advantage of a third set point when Bertens found the net.
Kvitova outlasted Bertens 7-6 (6), 4-6, 6-3 in a grueling final decided when the unseeded Dutch player hit a backhand long on the final point after almost three hours. The second seed broke a nervy-looking Thiem in the opening game thanks to a double-fault and was never really challenged as he claimed his third Masters 1000 title. But then when you step (into) the shot again, you are just trying to hit the return, you play the rally, the serves, whatever.
Serving for the match at 5-2, an example of the outstanding level of tennis being played by Bertens came at 15-15 when she bulleted a backhand down the line after withstanding several Garcia forehands, turning defense into offense.
"We both should be very proud of this lovely final we played". "Mentally it was very hard because I know how tough it is to break her".
The fearless Kvitova made an emotional comeback at the French Open after just five months and won a title at Birmingham on grass just a month later, even though she could not fully close her hand by then.
She improved her impressive win-loss record in career finals to 24-7.
"It really hurts right now", Bertens said.
'Maybe already 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'.
On the men's side, second-seeded Alexander Zverev brushed aside Denis Shapovalov 6-4, 6-1 to reach the final.
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He was in third place, nine shots behind, and figured all he could do last Sunday was go as low as he could and see where it led. I didn't really miss a shot and only ended up on 69. "I had to pace myself and just stay in it". "This was for her".
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