Kiki crushes it!
If Kiki Bertens keeps it up, she just might be known as the Ernie Banks of the WTA tour.
Banks, of course, is a baseball Hall of Famer who was known for his talent -- and for his love of the game. He loved it so much he said, “Let’s play two.”
Sunday, Bertens did just that at the Volvo Car Open Stadium after rain wiped out most of Saturday’s play. She had the tennis day of her life to become the first Dutch woman to win the Volvo Car Open. It was Berten’s fifth WTA title as she bid to improve her world No. 27 ranking.
The 12th-seeded Bertens won a grueling semifinal against No. 5 seed Madison Keys on Sunday morning and later on in the day, she lifted the championship trophy to the sky after disposing of German Julia Goerges 6-2, 6-1, in a match that didn’t even last an hour.
She worked hard for her money, but it was well worth it. She collected a $137,125 paycheck and Volvo officials threw in an SUV for her to drive for the next two years.
“It’s just unbelievable,” Bertens said. “I think I cannot really realize it yet, but I’m just so happy and proud. It’s a great start of the clay-court season, and yeah, hopefully still more to come, but this one I have already and I’m really happy with that.”
Bertens’ victory over Keys took a lot of energy and even more mettle. The match lasted almost three hours and Bertens survived.
“Actually, I was just like so happy that I could finish that match with the win, and also on court I was already thinking like oh, if I win I have to play another match,” Bertens said. “But I was just not focusing about that, just trying to get the win. And it gives you so much energy. So before the final I was just like, OK, just go out there and give all the energy you have left, you’re going to put it in there, and then we’ll just see, and yeah, it went pretty well.”
The double duty also took a toll on the German Goerges.
Goerges advanced to the championship with a 7-6, 6-3 victory over Anastasija Sevastova in a match that began Saturday but was postponed midway through the first set when the sky opened up.
“I think (the) semifinal today took a lot of mental effort from my side,” Goerges said. “I think one hour and 45 (minutes) wasn’t really quite enough to recover and be as well as I want to be prepared for a final.”
“I wasn’t, yeah, really able to play every point as tough as I did in the semis,” Goerges added. “That’s how it is. I’m still proud of what I have achieved here and how far I’ve been going after my first round, and that’s, yeah, it’s a good ending to a U. S. series and I’m ready to go home.”
Alla Kudryavtseva and Katarina Srebotnik won the doubles championship with a 6-3, 6-3 decision over Andreja Klepac and Maria Jose Martinez Sanchez.
Kudryavtseva and Srebotnik also had double duty Sunday. They defeated Kateryna Bondarenko and Aleksandra Krunic earlier in the day to advance.
PHOTOS BY PETER FINGER