Seventh seeded Kiki Bertens put up a sterling showing in the final of the WTA Madrid Open 2019 to beat Simona Halep and clinch the title.
In doing so, she prevented Halep from taking over the top spot in the WTA Rankings, with Naomi Osaka continuing to remain the number one ranked player in the world. However, most importantly, Bertens also won the biggest prize of her career, having interestingly won the 2018 Cincinnati Open before this by beating the same opponent in the final.
Bertens, who has never made the final at a Grand Slam before this, also made it to nine titles in her career.
It was a week to remember for the Dutchwoman, beating Jelena Ostapenko, Sloane Stephens and Petra Kvitova before making it to the final having also gotten past Anastasija Sevastova and Katerina Siniakova in the competition. Halep was the last hurdle she took out with much ease, winning 6-4, 6-4 to make it to her first title in Madrid.
A win for Halep would have not just given her the third title win at Madrid, it would have helped her go past Osaka as the top-ranked woman after the Japanese player had earlier crashed out at the quarter-final stage.
In a first set that was filled with both players finding it tough to retain serves, Bertens finally held her own after having broken Halep at 4-4 to go a set up.
The Dutchwoman took an early lead in the second set too but Halep was back into it by levelling it at 2-2. Bertens broke back immediately and despite facing a break-point later in the set, she held on to her serve and nerve to win the match in straight sets.