Madrid champion Kvitova dismisses French Open talk as 'crazy'
MADRID, Spain – Petra Kvitova won the Madrid Open title for the 3rd time on Saturday with a marathon 7-6 (8/6), 4-6, 6-3 victory over Kiki Bertens but dismissed talk of her as a potential Roland Garros champion as "crazy."
World number 10 Kvitova, who was also the champion in Madrid in 2011 and 2015, has now claimed 4 titles in 2018 after triumphs in St. Petersburg, Doha and last weekend in Prague.
Victory, on a chilly, damp night in the Spanish capital, took Kvitova two hours and 51 minutes against a gutsy, unseeded Bertens who had knocked out former world number ones Maria Sharapova and Caroline Wozniacki on her way to the championship match.
In a big-hitting, roller-coaster of a final, Kvitova claimed her 24th career title on the back of 39 winners and 58 unforced errors.
"It feels sweet and weird as well," said 28-year-old Kvitova on becoming the first woman to win the Madrid title on 3 occasions.
"Even coming from Prague last week, I didn't think I could be in the final, winning trophies back-to-back. My body is exhausted as well, so I'm pretty surprised that my body handled it.
"Every title feels great. Winning 3 times here in Madrid, it means something. It's not really happening every day, so I'm very proud of myself."
After her efforts in Madrid, two-time Wimbledon winner Kvitova, not suprisingly, announced she will skip the Italian Open in Rome next week.
With 4 titles under her belt already this year – two of them now on clay – Kvitova remained cautious over her chances of winning the French Open which gets under way in Paris in two weeks' time.
"It's crazy," she insisted. "You know, I've been in a semi-final one year. Probably I can play well there. But on the other hand I know how tough it is.
"Winning Prague and here, it made me very happy. On the other hand, a Grand Slam is a different story. It's different attitude, different balls.
"For me, I'm going there trying to play better than the last time. I don't know, I don't want to put any pressure on me in a way. I think there are maybe better players playing on the clay. We'll see what happens."
Bertens, who had won 5 of her previous 6 finals, including on clay in Charleston earlier this year, led 4-2 with a break in the first set before Kvitova roared back, retrieving the break in the next game.
The Czech claimed the 74-minute opener on a third set point.
Dutchwoman Bertens carved out the only break in the 7th game of the second set to level the contest.
She then fell 2-4 down in the decider before bravely hitting straight back but in a thrilling finale, Kvitova dug deep to break again for 5-3 before a love service hold gave her victory and an 11th successive match win.
"Petra is also one of the biggest fighters out there, so it was tough," said 26-year-old Bertens, the world number 20.
"But I gave everything I had today, so I have no regrets." – Rappler.com