Kiki Bertens captured her first WTA title of 2019 and her eighth overall on Sunday, defeating Donna Vekic of Croatia, 7-6, 6-4, in the final of the St. Petersburg Ladies Trophy in St. Petersburg, Russia.
Bertens, who remains at a career-high No. 8 in the world rankings after last week's win, was down 2-5 in the opening set of the final before rallying to win 17 of 18 points, forcing a tiebreak and taking the lead in the match. She broke Vekic early in the second set and then held on to win the championship in one hour, 43 minutes.
During the week in St. Petersburg, Bertens avenged losses she had suffered in January to her opponent in the final, Vekic, and to her quarterfinal challenger, Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova. She lost to Vekic in the Round of 16 at Brisbane, and she fell to Pavlyuchenkova in the second round of the Australian Open.
Here's more on the Netherlands' No. 1 player.
The Kiki Bertens File
Birthplace: Wateringen, Netherlands
Residence: Wateringen, Netherlands
Current Rank: 8
Career-High Rank: 8 (January 2019)
Best US Open Finish: 3rd Round (2018)
- Bertens is coming off a career-best season in 2018, in which she won three titles (Charleston, Cincinnati, Seoul), reached one final (Madrid) and finished in the Top 10 of the WTA rankings for the first time.
- Bertens has represented the Netherlands in Fed Cup play 17 times, starting in 2011, and has an overall won-loss record of 24-4 (18-2 in singles; 6-2 in doubles) in the international team competition. She also competed on the Dutch Olympic team at the 2016 Games in Rio.
- The Dutchwoman had her best US Open result at the 2018 tournament, where she defeated Kristyna Pliskova and Francesca Di Lorenzo in straight sets in the first two rounds before falling in a third-set tiebreak to Marketa Vondrousova in Round 3.
- Bertens was known as a clay-court specialist earlier in her career but has won three hardcourt tournaments since last summer. Her first title came at the US Open Series event in Cincinnati in August, followed by championships in Seoul in September and St. Petersburg last weekend.
- Both St. Petersburg finalists, Bertens and Vekic, have agreed to play doubles together at the BNP Paribas Open in Indian Wells, Calif., next month.
They Said It!
"There was a time when I was feeling too much stress on the court, and I didn't enjoy tennis at all. I was close to quitting the game and had to get my energy and focus back. I set some new goals for 2018, and it ended up being my best year so far. Right now, I'm just enjoying my life, and tennis. I'm a really happy person right now." – Bertens told wtatennis.com following her St. Petersburg victory