Five Things To Know About The Madrid Open Women’s Final - UBITENNIS
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Five Things To Know About The Madrid Open Women’s Final

It is more than just prize money at stake for Petra Kvitova and Kiki Bertens at the Madrid Open

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Petra Kvitova (zimbio.com)

On Saturday 10th seed Petra Kvitova will take on Kiki Bertens in the final of the Madrid Open. It will be the second meeting between the two players on the tour. The first occurred back in 2015 when Kvitova won 6-1, 6-0, at Wimbledon. This time round she can expect a much tougher encounter against Bertens, who has won 58 matches on the clay since 2016.

 

Here are five things to following during the women’s final in Madrid.

1. Kvitova’s triple bid

Should the world No.10 triumph on Saturday, she would become the first female player in history to win the Madrid Open for the third time. Kvitova has previously won the title back in 2011 (defeating Victoria Azarenka) and 2015 (defeating Svetlana Kuznetsova). She is one of only three players to have already won the tournament twice since the Premier Mandatory event started in 2009. Serena Williams was triumphant in 2012 and 2013, followed by Simona Halep in 2016 and 2017.

Video – the last time Kvitova won the Madrid title

 

2. Bertens underdog run

Currently ranked 20th in the world, Bertens has the chance to emulate France’s Aravane Rezaï by winning the title as an unseeded player. In 2010 Renzai defeated Jelena Jankovic and Venus Williams on route to the title.

Bertens has already won five WTA titles on the clay so far in her career. The most recent occurred at the Charleston Open when she defeated Julia Goerges in the final to win her first ever trophy in a Premier tournament. Her most significant title to date.

3. Kvitova’s magic 30

A win over Bertens would give Kvitova her 30th win on the tour this season. If she achieves the victory, it will be the quickest she has ever claimed 30 wins in a start to a season. Her current best was set in 2011 when she reached the milestone at the French Open.

Kvitova has already won three titles this season in St. Petersburg, Qatar and Prague. Should she also win Madrid, it will be her most successful season (in terms of titles) since 2011 when she won six tournaments.

4. New territory for Bertens

26-year-old Bertens will participate in her maiden Premier Mandatory final. On route to the final, she achieved wins over Caroline Wozniacki, Maria Sharapova and Caroline Garcia. The run means that she will rise to a ranking best of 15th in the world on Monday at least. Should she defeat Kvitova, Bertens will rise to 12th in the world.

Bertens’ Madrid performance
R1 – defeated Maria Sakkari (GRE) 6-4, 6-4
R2 – defeated Anastasija Sevastova (LAT) 6-1, 6-4
R3 – defeated Caroline Wozniacki (DEN) 6-2, 6-2
QF – defeated Maria Sharapova (RUS) 4-6, 6-2, 6-3
SF – defeated Caroline Garcia (FRA) 6-2, 6-2

5. Title No.24 at stake for Kvitova

Since claiming her first title at the 2009 Hobart International, Kvitova has managed to win a total of 23 trophies on the tour. The fifth highest tally among active players. A win in Madrid would move her closer to closing on fourth placed Wozniacki, who currently has 28.

Most titles among active players
Serena Williams – 78
Venus Williams – 49
Maria Sharapova – 36
Caroline Wozniacki – 28
Kvitova – 23 (prior to the Madrid final)

Kvitova’s title collection currently features 17 on hardcourts, three on the clay and three on the grass.

The women’s final will get underway not before 18:30 (GMT+1) on Saturday.

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Jennifer Brady cruises past Elina Svitolina in Dubai

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US qualifier Jennifer Brady upset 2017 and 2018 Dubai champion Elina Svitolina 6-2 6-1 in one hour at the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships. Brady hit three consecutive backhand to hold serve. She did not face any other break point in the rest of the first set and won nine consecutive games.

 

Brady broke Svitolina in the sixth game with a bakhand down the line and in the eighth game, as Svitolina sent a backhand into the net.

Brady earned two consecutive breaks in the second game of the second set to open up a 4-0 lead. Brady wasted a 40-0 lead on her serve in the fifth game. Svitolina pulled one of the two breaks back, but she dropped her serve for the third time. As Brady was serving for the match, she came back from 0-30 down and sealed the win with her fifth ace.

Kristina Mladenovic reached the second round with a 6-4 6-3 win over Aliaksandra Sasnovich.

Sasnovich held a 4-1 record in her five head-to-head matches and won all their three previous clashes played on hard-court.

The first set was marked by seven breaks in the first ten games. Sasnovich went up a break three times, but Mladenovic broke back each time to draw level to 4-4. Mladenovic closed out the first set with a break in the 10th game thanks to an inside-out forehand return.

Mladenovic opened up a 3-0 lead with a break in the second game and closed out the second set on her third match point with a forehand winner with a forehand winner after 1 hour and 33 minutes. The French player set up a second round match against Karolina Pliskova in a re-match of the first round match at the Australian Open. Pliskova beat Mladenovic in straight sets, but the the French player scored a 6-4 6-2 in their first clsh played in Dubai in 2017.

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Anastasya Pavlyuchenkova rallies from slow start to beat Belinda Bencic in Dubai

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Anastasya Pavlyuchenkova came back from one set down to beat defending champion Belinda Bencic 1-6 6-1 6-1 in 1 hour and 30 minutes reaching the second round at the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships.

 

Bencic reeled off the first 19 points of the match to win seven of the first eight games of the match. Pavlyuchenkova bounced back by winning 12 of the last 13 games to clinch her 15th career top 5 win. The Russian player clinched only the second of her six head-to-head matches against Bencic and her first victory against her Swiss rival since Washington 2015. Bencic had won her past three clashes against Pavlyuchenkova at the 2018 Hopman Cup, at Wimbledon 2019 and in the Moscow final 2019.

Bencic earned her first break in the second game after four consecutive unforced errors from Pavlyuchenkova. The Swiss player went up a double break to open up a 4-0 after Pavlyuchenkova made three double faults.

Pavlyuchenkova stopped a losing streak of 19 consecutive points in the fifth game at 15-40 down, but Bencic held her service game at deuce. Bencic missed a point for the bagel, as Pavlyuchenkova won her first game with a service winner. Bencic served out the first set in the next game with consecutive unreturned serves.

Bencic earned an early break at the start of the second set after two double faults from Pavlyuchenkova. The Russian player turned around the match by winning six consecutive games to win the second set 6-1.

Pavlyuchenkova broke at love in the second game and earned the second and third breaks in two deuce games. Pavlyuchenova won a return game for 5-1 with a drive volley and served out on his first set point, as Bencic sent her pass long.

Pavlyuchenkova earned an immediate break with three consecutive winners. The Russian player, who reached the final in Osaka and Moscow, went up a double break to take a 3-0 lead. Bencic pulled back one of the two breaks in the fourth game. Pavlyuchenova broke for the fifth game to open up a 4-1 lead. She broke Benci for the seventh consecutive time, as Bencic hit her backhand in the net.

“As soon as I won one or two points, I was like right, this is something I need to keep doing. I was trying to realize why I won it, what did I do right. I was just trying to find that rhythm”, said Pavlyuchenkova.

 

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Marketa Vondrousova eases past Anastasija Sevastova in Dubai

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Last year’s Roland Garros finalist Marketa Vondrousova eased past Anastasija Sevastova 6-3 6-2 after 1 hour and nine minutes to reach the second round at the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships.

 

Vondrousova saved all five break points she faced and converted three of her four chances. The Czech player built up a 4-1 lead with a break in the opening set. Sevastova earned two break-back points at 4-2, but Vondrousova held her serve after four deuces.

Sevastova held serve at love for 5-3 forcing Vondrousova to serve for the set. Vondrousova earned three set points with a dropshot winner and converted her first chance with a drop volley.

Vondrousova earned an early break to take a 2-1 lead in the second set and backed it up to open up a 3-1 lead. Vondrousova went up a double break in the seventh game and converted the first of her three match points with an ace to set up a second round match against either Elina Svitolina or US qualifier Jennifer Brady.

Vondrousova made her come-back at last January’s Australian Open after undergoing surgery last year.

“I know Sevastova is a good player. We played once. I expected a tough match. It was a late match, so I had to stay calm. I am just happy with my win”,said Vondrousova.

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