Cincinnati Masters ’18: Bertens Trumps Halep; Wins The Title

Cincinnati Masters

Kiki Bertens held off a championship point to upset world number one Simona Halep and win the Cincinnati Masters. The 26-year-old world number 17 came from behind to defeat Halep 2-6 7-6 (8-6) 6-2 in two hours and five minutes.

Romania’s Halep, 26, has now lost three finals in Cincinnati having previously missed out in 2015 and 2017.

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“I cannot find the words for this moment,” said Bertens, who becomes the first Dutch winner at a singles WTA/ATP hardcourt tournament since 2006.

Bertens’ victory – the biggest of her career – ends a nine-match winning streak for Halep, who triumphed at the Rogers Cup in Montreal, Canada, last week. It also marked her 10th defeat of a top-10 opponent this season as she beat French Open champion Halep for the second time in five meetings.

A clinical Halep dominated the first set, taking just half an hour to take the opener 6-2. And despite the second set quickly swinging in the favour of underdog Bertens, who opened up a 4-1 lead, she then scored just two points as Halep levelled the score at 4-4.

The set went to a tie-break and, after scoring four points in a row, Bertens later saved championship point before taking the set. The Dutchwoman once again went 4-1 up in the decider, as Halep conceded 10 successive points, before closing out the match.

“I was a little bit tired, but it was an amazing week,” said Halep.

“Kiki really deserved this title. I have lost three finals here but maybe I’ll be able to win one in the future.”

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