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Kiki Bertens rallies past Simona Halep for Western & Southern Open title

MASON, Ohio — Kiki Bertens served a 109 mph ace, flipped her racket away, fell to her knees and raised each arms. Moments later, she lined her face for a joyous cry, wiping the tears away along with her sweat-soaked blue wristband.

One level away from one other loss, she had pulled off her largest win.

Top-ranked Simona Halep let a match level slip away throughout the second-set tiebreaker, and Bertens rallied for a 2-6, 7-6 (6), 6-2 victory and the Western & Southern Open title on Sunday that left her as shocked as everybody else.

“I cannot find words for this moment,” she stated.

Playing her first hard-court closing, the Dutch clay-court specialist ended Halep’s streak of 9 straight wins, together with the title at Montreal every week earlier. She’d by no means crushed a top-ranked participant, however wore down Halep on the finish of her two draining weeks.

During the week in Cincinnati, Halep had one match suspended in a single day by rain and wound up enjoying twice in in the future to succeed in the semifinals. She managed the primary set on Sunday and had an opportunity to shut it out, main 6-5 within the tiebreaker.

When that slipped away, she by no means recovered, enjoying her worst within the closing set — 13 unforced errors that gave Bertens an opportunity to tug away.

“I am a little bit tired,” she stated.

Halep shall be ranked No. 1 by the U.S. Open. She fell to Zero-Three in Cincinnati finals, ending because the runner-up in 2015 and every of the past two years.

Bertens has labored on her hard-court recreation and her confidence on the floor. In three earlier appearances in Cincinnati, she received a complete of 1 match. She turned the primary unseeded participant to win in Cincinnati since Vera Zvonareva in 2006.

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