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Bertens shocks Halep to claim Madrid Open crown

Bertens shocks Halep to claim Madrid Open crown

Bencic had defeated world no. 1 Naomi Osaka in the quarterfinals to set up the showdown with Halep.

Kvitova was sent packing by Kiki Bertens, crushing the defending champion 6-2, 6-3 to set up another semi-final with Sloane Stephens.

"It means a lot to me after previous year getting to the final here".

Belinda Bencic controlled the tiebreaker to win the tiebreaker 7-2.

Monfils earned a match point at 5-6 on the Federer serve with an ice-cool backhand pass, but Federer followed in a second serve and bounced away a smash.

Stephens battled well in the second set and had chances to take it to a decider but Bertens held on.

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.

World number one Osaka has claimed the last two majors at the USA and Australian Opens and will be looking for a third in succession when she travels to Paris for the French Open later this month. I wanted to win this match so much because she'd beaten me before.

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Yet Bencic's momentum completely disappeared in the third as she became the third player in this tournament to be shut out in a set by Halep, who dished out a bagel against Margarita Gasparyan and two in her demolition of Viktoria Kuzmova. In contrast, Bencic's only clay semi-final came in Charleston in 2014, despite having won the junior French Open in 2013.

Serena, who will face Venus for a 31st time on the WTA Tour, said: "It felt good to be back in the match". She returned with a renewed sense of objective, passion, and perspective, and the result has been a meteoric rise through the rankings and transformation into an all-court threat.

"I played like a stupid today, everything that she liked", she added.

Halep has reached the Madrid final four times in her career and won the title in 2016 and 2017.

"I am extremely disappointed to have my time in Madrid end in this way".

A more aggressive approach was paying dividends for Halep but it was high-risk too and when the Romanian blasted out in the very next game, Bertens was back up a break.

They've split two clay matches.

Halep's rally fell short, however, as Bertens stayed calm and continued to punish her on serve.