Bertens backlash sees off Halep

Kik Bertens showed her fighting spirit as she saved a match point before coming back from a set-down to beat Simona Halep and lift the Western & Southern Open trophy.

World number one, Halep, was out to win her second tournament in a row having claimed the Coupe Rogers last Sunday.

And the Cincinnati final started the way the Romanian would have wanted as she claimed the opener 6-2.

The second stanza was a closely fought affair as the players traded breaks before a tiebreak was required to determine if the match was to go to a decider or if Halep was to win.

After saving a match point at 5-6, Bertens recovered to take the breaker 8-6 and assume all the momentum.

As has happened throughout Halep’s career, she was unable to stop the rot in the decider and unravelled badly in the final set as Bertens was hardly required to be at her best in order to win the third 6-2 and in doing so lift the trophy.

“Hopefully I can talk,” Bertens said afterwards.

“I cannot find words for this moment. I’m so happy.

“Simona, I think it’s been a unbelievable year for you at number one.

“Sorry for today, but hopefully we can play many more matches like this in the future.”

Bertens will rise to a career-best world number 13. Halep will remain as the world number one heading into the US Open.