Madrid, May 13 (IANS) Czech Petra Kvitova defeated Kiki Bertens 7-6 (8-6), 4-6, 6-3 in a hard-fought battle to win the Madrid Open for a record third time.
Kvitova pushed herself to the limit over two hours and 52 minutes of play on Saturday to overcome the Dutchwoman, who used an assortment of shots, including numerous moon balls and drop shots, to counter the Czech's clean and powerful ball-striking, reports Efe.
Bertens was a point away from a 5-2 lead early on, but she would rue that missed opportunity as the two-time Wimbledon champion rallied to take the first set.
Undeterred, Bertens grabbed a service break in the seventh game of the second set and went on to force a decider.
Kvitova seemed to have the match in hand when she went up a break in the third, but Bertens refused to go away and got back on serve at 4-3.
One final break of Bertens' serve in the eighth game, however, would prove to be final blow, as Kvitova wrapped up the victory with a service hold in the ensuing game.
"My body is very exhausted... Every title feels great. Winning three times here in Madrid, it means something. It's not really happening every day, so I'm very proud of myself," the Czech star was quoted as saying on the WTA's website.
The Madrid Open is one of the biggest clay-court tournaments on the WTA calendar and a key tune-up for the French Open, which gets under way on May 27.