Madrid 2019, that’s a wrap: Kiki Bertens wins the biggest title of her career

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.

Follow Moo’s Tennis Blog on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram. Feature photo by Omar Boraby.

10 thoughts on “Madrid 2019, that’s a wrap: Kiki Bertens wins the biggest title of her career

  1. I’m pleased with Bertens winning but sad it was a one sided affair. I don’t think Bertens is the favourite for RG, still think is Halep who had better chances at RG than anyone in the field. Of course i might be wrong but that’s my feeling. I don’t say Halep will win RG for sure, but i will be surprised if she didn’t.

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    • There really isn’t a frontrunner for the French, if you ask me. Halep would be one of them, sure. But she’s only won it once, it’s not like she’s Nadal or anything. Bertens, Kvitova and Serena could well do it. Then you have players like Muguruza, Kuznetsova and Ostapenko who have done it before. Or it could be a completely new face, you just never know!

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      • We agree to disagree:))) from my point of view, Serena have no chance whatsoever at winning RG at this point, Kvitova never did good in Paris, Ostapenko is not a threat to anyone for a long time now, Kuznetsova is to early after injury recovery, Muguruza with Sumyk is no threat any longer on tour. I agree Bertens has a good chance at winning, i just don’t see her as favourite. I really wish my fave Vika to be a threat in Paris but my hopes are not that high. Now about Halep, i never thought about her as a femme Nadal:))) but she always seems to thrive on Paris clay, she may win it only once but she also played another 2 close finals there, with a bit of luck she could have 3 majors on this surface and for that i think she is a strong favourite for title at RG. Of course she could also lose in the first round if she meet a ball basher in a very good day:)))

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      • Agreed – though I would say Halep is the slight favorite, she’s not the overwhelming one by any measure. It’s not like back in the day when it was “Serena vs. the field” and Williams was (literally) winning 1 of every 2 slams in which she participated. Halep’s good, but not anywhere near that level (even on clay).

        On top of the people you listed, I’d add Stephens (though not fully fit), Keys (SF last year), and Kerber (took a set from Halep last year and wants the career slam). Heck, there are probably other players who have a non-zero chance.

        No idea how the other poster could so easily dismiss 3-time champ Serena, especially considering her ~92% win percentage on clay since 2013 (much higher than Halep’s). If she could make 2 major finals last year despite being nowhere near ready, I imagine she’ll be a threat this year, as well.

        Time will tell.

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    • I can easily dismiss Serena chances for winning RG because she is not the Serena who dominated WTA anymore, even at her best, she won RG only 3 times. To win 7 matches on clay, you nedd your fitness and stamina to be at your best and Serena is not at her best anymore. With a lucky draw she may win another major, Wimbledon and US open are her best options but not RG, from my point of view, i might be wrong but i don’t think so:)

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      • Serena didn’t lose Wimbledon or US Open because of a lack of fitness. She crumbled under her own pressure. She’s been through this before though, and the more opportunities she creates for herself, the more likely she will take one. She looked super fit yesterday, so we shall see.

        She still has a better record at the French than Halep does though. Serena has won 84% of her matches, Simona has won 75%…

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  2. Great win for Kiki but from the after match interviews I think Simona’s getting down on herself again; “I played like a stupid today, everything she likes.” No mention of the fact that she was battling a cold all tournament (and still managed a double bagel).

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