That’s a wrap for Madrid! On Saturday, Kiki Bertens won the biggest title of her career, beating Simona Halep in the final, 6-4 6-4. This is my last post from Madrid with review and analysis from Saturday’s final. Rome starts on Monday with the main draw already out. I’ve got a busy week next week so likely won’t be as active on the blog.
Match review 🎾
The Madrid final wasn’t the classic that i’d hoped for but there were still some fun moments, particularly towards the end of the match. There were clearly some nerves from Bertens at the beginning but she soon settled down. Bertens rallied from 2-4 down to win the opener. Bertens upped her first serve percentage and was patient in the rallies as an increasingly erratic Halep began to commit errors off both wings.
Bertens won six straight games to go up a break in the second set. Bertens was winning the majority of the longer rallies as Halep really struggled for depth on her groundstrokes. Halep made an intentional move to be more aggressive midway through the second set and dictate the rallies. Bertens managed to hold off a late Halep surge as she consistently found big first serves in the crux moments to hold her last two service games and win the whole caboodle in Madrid.
Match analysis 🤔
The six game streak for Bertens in the middle of the match ultimately cost Halep. While Halep was playing much, much better at the end, she left herself too much to do at the end against an opponent backed herself on serve. All in all, a super week for Halep. It was nice to see her smiling in the trophy ceremony. I think Simona’s in a good place.
I’ve said it a lot this year already but I am just so, so, SO impressed with Bertens. To back up a breakthrough season is never easy and she’s doing a great job so far this year. Her game has become so reliable and dependable. She has really improved her mental toughness on court and playing the big points well. Bertens’s serve is undoubtedly one of the best on tour 🔥.
I guess that Bertens will now be one of the top favourites for Roland Garros. To be honest, this worries me. She said in her semi-final press conference about not liking the attention and I would certainly be cautious. I think she’s better off being under the radar! I hope she can stay focused on her game and ignore all the attention because her current form will put her in the mix for Paris.
Stat watch 🔢
In her title run, Bertens did not drop a set all week! The closest Bertens came to losing a set was in her semi-final win over Sloane Stephens where she was forced to save three set points at *4-5 *0-40 in the second set.
Bertens dropped just 35 games in six matches and this was NOT an easy run at all. It was one of the eclectic title runs we are likely to see all year with three top ten wins and victories over both big hitters and counter punchers.
R1: Bertens d. Katerina Siniakova, 6-3 6-2
R2: Bertens d. Jelena Ostapenko, 6-4 6-3
R3: Bertens d. Anastasija Sevastova, 6-1 6-2
QF: Bertens d. Petra Kvitova, 6-2 6-3
SF: Bertens d. Sloane Stephens, 6-2 7-5
F: Bertens d. Simona Halep, 6-4 6-4
Crazy moment 😲
I’ve NEVER seen this happen before… Bertens shanked an overhead long but the ball hit Halep so the point went to Bertens. Kiki said in her presser this had never happened to her before in her entire career. If Halep had won the point, she would have had two break points…
Handshakes and hugs 🤗
The pair shared a nice embrace at the net. This hi-five from Simona in the trophy ceremony filled my heart with joy.
Press highlights 📰
The Madrid Open Twitter page posted Kiki’s final press conference. Kiki will fly to Rome tomorrow.