By Ros Satar, in Madrid
- Petra Kvitova  def. Kiki Bertens 7-6(6) 4-6 6-3
- We crunch the numbers between Petra Kvitova and Kiki Bertens to win the Mutua Madrid Open for an historic third time.
- Quotes from the winner and finalist
- 10 fun facts from the WTA Mutua Madrid Open
MADRID, SPAIN – Petra Kvitova becomes the first WTA player to win the title three times, as she beat Kiki Bertens to claim the Mutua Madrid Open.
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Head to Head
|Petra Kvitova||Kiki Bertens|
In a distinctly breezy Caja Magica a little bit of history was on the line for both players. Kvitova stood to be the first three-time titlist in Madrid, having already equalled both Serena Williams and Simona Halep with two titles each.
After her return at Roland Garros last year following the horrific knife attack that almost ended her career altogether, she won her 20th title in Birmingham and followed it up this year with back to back titles in St. Petersburg and Doha, as well as winning in Prague before coming here.
Bertens, by contrast was just in her third appearance in Madrid, and has reached the final of the Premier Mandatory event for the first time (her previous best was the quarter-finals in Madrid last year).
While Kvitova leads the tour in wins this season (29-6, ahead of Halep and Elise Mertens), Bertens’ record on clay this season stands at 11-1. Only Kvitova (12) and Mertens (13) have more wins on this surface.
Kvitova came in on a 10-match winning streak, and was threatening a quick start, having two break point chances in the opening game on the Bertens serve. The Dutchwoman repaid the compliment, having two chances of her own to take a lead, before Kvitova held an equally long game.
Kvitova couldn’t convert on a couple more chances and lapsed to lose her serve to love as Bertens took the lead 4-2, only to be pegged back immediately. If that was tense, the resulting tie-break was nerve-jangling with the momentum switching before Kvitova finally (and literally) roared home with a third set point.
The second set saw opportunities come and go for Bertens but maybe nine straight wins was taking its toll – Bertens converted on her third attempt, as she levelled things up.
After a competitive set, the nerves we saw in the first set returned with a vengeance with two long holds for each, break-point changes all over. If the first set was all nerves, this serve took raw guts.
Kvitova was the first to break, but Bertens’ ability to just get everything back saw her stymie Kvitova with a break back. Kvitova, from somewhere, break once more and after all the drama, and high quality fight, served out for a history-making third Madrid title.
|Titles (2018)||23 (4)||5 (1)|
Bertens won Charleston to start the clay court season in style but was usurped by Kvitova’s double run in St. Petersburg and Doha, and Prague, and now has done the back to back deal once more. It comes at a price, and with visible strapping on her thigh during the final she withdraws from Rome next week.
Year to Date/Career W/L Record
|All surfaces W/L||30-6 / 381-178||15-9 / 123-|
|Clay-court||13-2 / 77-39||11-2 / 75-32|
Kvitova came into the match leading the tour with match wins, but with both players having been pretty formidable on the clay so far this year, it was Kvitova’s back to back streak that put her slightly ahead.
Match Stats 2018
Kvitova just edged her tie-break record along, with Bertens having struggled this year to turn them in to an advantage.
Despite being utterly exhausted by this point, for Kvitova to come out on top, as she did in Doha earlier in the year, means you can never underestimate ‘P3tra’ – her own nickname for her three-set exploits.
Bertens actually had been a little ahead of Kvitova throughout the tournament in terns of her first serve efficiency, with Kvitova a little stronger behind her second serve, and there was very little between them in terms of success on their return games, hence the battle on court in the final. Throughout the final they were matched in terms of their total points won
What they had to say
Bertens was moved to tears both in the post-match runner-up speech on court, as she thanked her coach, and again in the press conference, as tears came to her eyes.
She told the press: “I think I can be really proud of myself, like seeing myself where I’m coming from, just playing today in this final, playing tennis like the level I played today I think was quite okay for such a big final.
“I think I made pretty big steps in that. Of course, it really hurts right now. I think you can see that (tearing up). 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.”
Kvitova confirmed that she would be pulling out of Rome having won two tournaments in a row, and being on the point on of exhaustion in the match, uncertain of how she could even continue in the match.
“We both should be very proud of this beautiful final we played today. Unfortunately, there have to be loser and winner.
“I’m not really sure where I find it. I think in the third set, obviously every point was very, very important. I was really thinking that I can’t do it anymore. But then when you step on the shot again, you are just trying to hit the return, you play the rally, the serves, whatever.
“It was pretty difficult for me to have a break in the third set and loss to my serve. Mentally it was very difficult because I know how tough it is to break her. Luckily the chance came for the second time, so it was much better.
“The last game of serve was a great one, probably the most best one what I have. So I was very pleased with that.”
Kvitova will skip Rome and will play Roland Garros, which takes place between 21 May to 10 June.
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