MADRID – Simona Halep missed the chance to reclaim the world number one ranking on Saturday after the Netherlands’ Kiki Bertens pulled off a surprise 6-4, 6-4 victory to win the Madrid Open.
Halep could have knocked Naomi Osaka off the top spot with a triumph in the Spanish capital but instead it is Bertens who makes history, becoming the highest-ranked Dutchwoman ever by climbing to world number four.
Bertens secured her ninth WTA singles title, as well as a check for 1.2million euros, while her success should make amends for last year’s disappointment in Madrid, when she lost in the final to Petra Kvitova.
Halep was chasing her third success in four years in this tournament but delivered the sort of patchy, disgruntled display that has hindered her before with a trophy in sight.
But Bertens more than played her part, a deserving winner and on this evidence, a serious contender later this month at the French Open, where she reached the semi-final in 2016 only to be stopped by Serena Williams.