Saturday, August 18, 2018

Kiki Bertens defeats Kvitova, reaches Cincinnati final

I just put on my best walkin’ shoes
I got myself and honey, that’s good news
Gonna try, try to be happy now
Meslissa Manchester, "Be Happy Now"

photo by Daniel Ward
Unseeded? No problem. Kiki Bertens, who has been on fire all season, did a repeat of her Rogers Cup feat today and took out 8th seed Petra Kvitova in the Cincinnati semifinals. The Bertens breakthrough this year has been huge. Not only is she more confident and positive--she's decided to take her well-established clay court acumen to every surface on the tour. This expansion included the Dutchwoman's making the quarterfinals at Wimbledon.

The will be Bertens' third final of the 2018 season (she won in Charleston). Bertens credits her turnaround in attitude--she felt very discouraged at the end of 2017--to making a conscious decision to think and feel differently. Just like that. In doing so, the Dutch star tapped into one of the most powerful methods of effecting change, whether you're a tennis star, an artist, an executive, or simply a person surviving on the Earth.

Petra Kvitova (photo by Daniel Ward)
Today, Bertens had some help from her exhausted opponent. The long matches finally caught up with Kvitova, and the sudden change (back to hot) in the weather aggravated her asthma. The good news, Kvitova told us after the match, is that she has made sufficient interventions with
her asthmatic condition so that it isn't as great a problem as it used to be.

The match was fun to watch. Even tired, Kvitova was causing people in the stands to gasp. The Czech's fitness was on display again and again as she ran for balls that looked un-returnable and converted them into winners with a combination of stretch and touch. Her drop shot from the baseline may have been the shot of the match.
Kiki Bertens (photo by Daniel Ward)
But, even after winning the first set, Kvitova ultimately wasn't able to keep up with Bertens, who had
to "play her way into" the match. After being dominated in the opening set, Bertens got tuned in with her serve, which helped her quite a bit. Her stats looked good: She hit 23 winners to 21 unforced errors, and hit 10 aces.

Bertens' 3-6, 6-4, 6-2 victory sends her into the final against either world number 1 Simona Halep or the unseeded Aryna Sabalenka.


sunnynine said...

i enjoyed this match. a tired kvitova managed to make extraordinary shots and to amaze us at home and the crowd. she gave it her all and until the double fault in the last game, she had continued to fight. the hard work over the break has paid off, in generally finding a way in 3 set matches. it didn't happen today but....she has grown into her game and the possibilities it offers along with she has to offer. bertens continues to astound. what i liked was her tactical change. she seemed content to hang back during the 1st set. but in the second and third her game turned aggressive. she stepped in more, came forward and realized what she needed to do. there are 2 different stories in this match which came together to produce an entertaining time.

Diane said...

Well said, Sunny! Of course, I'm always disappointed when Petra loses, but her legs just gave out. But, as you say, she was still capable of hitting some amazing shots (and moving quite well). Kiki is now getting scary :) The final should be great.