Cincinnati | Bertens upsets Halep
Simona Halep’s recent unbeaten run was brought to an end by Kiki Bertens who scored the biggest win of her career to claim the Western and Southern Open title 2-6 7-6(6) 6-2.
The world No.1 who arrived in Cincinnati having lifted the Montreal crown last week looking for her second consecutive title and looked unbeatable on a nine-match run.
Hopefully we can play many more matches like this in the future. Kiki Bertens
However, she was unable to lift her game and ran out of steam as Bertens took control once she had wrested a very tight second set from her on the tiebreak.
“I’ve lost three finals here, but maybe I will able to win one at this tournament [in the future] because I love to play here,” the Romanian, who fell to Serena Williams in the 2015 final and to Garbine Muguruza in the title match last year, said.
Bertens, who had considered retiring from the sport last year following a run of poor results, required just over two hours to complete the upset in what was the 10th occasion this season that she has beaten a top-ten opponent.
The upset took just over two hours and marked the 10th time this season that 17th-ranked Bertens has defeated a top 10 opponent.
“Hopefully we can play many more matches like this in the future,” the Dutchwoman, who had saved a match point in the second set tiebreak, said after claiming the sixth title of her career.
The final looked to be another routine outing for Halep who was into her stride quickly, breaking Bertens twice to take the opening set, setting her on her way to overall victory.
But the 26-year-old Dutchwoman, who had seen off the likes of Caroline Wozniacki, Elina Svitolina and Petra Kvitova in the last few days, began to turn the tide in the second as she broke for a 3-1 lead.
Halep recovered that break back in the eighth game to make it 4-4 and seemed set to claim victory in the tiebreak but Bertens won four consecutive points to level the match seconds after saving a match point.
The loss of that second set affected Halep badly as Bertens raced into a 4-1 lead and kept her momentum to take the match and title on her first match point.