Kiki Bertens prevents Simona Halep from regaining world No 1 ranking after winning Madrid Open
Last Updated: 11/05/19 8:08pm
Kiki Bertens denied Simona Halep a return to world No 1 as she defeated the two-time champion in the Madrid Open final to win the biggest title of her career.
The 27-year-old became the first woman to win the title without the loss of a set as she overcame Halep, who would have replaced Naomi Osaka at the top of the standings, 6-4 6-4.
Bertens will become the highest-ranked Dutchwoman ever on Monday at world No 4 after she won her second title of the season.
After an even opening in a meeting between two of the best clay court players there were four consecutive breaks of serve as Bertens recovered from 2-4 down to win four games in a row to take the first set.
Bertens, who also beat Halep in the Cincinnati final last year, broke the Romanian in the first game of the second set to extend her initiative.
Halep appeared to halt Bertens' momentum when she got back on serve three games later but she immediately lost her serve for the fifth time in the match.
Accurate serving from Bertens helped her save a break point amid increased pressure from Halep to move one game away from the title before she sealed a historic victory on serve on her third match point.
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