Kvitova beats Bertens for third Madrid Open title

Czech Republic's Petra Kvitova poses with her trophy after winning against The Netherlands' Kiki Bertens in the Madrid Open in Madrid, Spain, Saturday, May 12, 2018. (Francisco Seco/AP)

MADRID — Petra Kvitova outlasted Kiki Bertens 7-6 (6), 4-6, 6-3 to claim a record third Madrid Open title on Saturday.

The two-time Wimbledon winner celebrated the hard-fought match when Bertens hit a backhand long on the final point after nearly three hours.

Kvitova previously won on the Madrid clay in 2011 and 2015. This third win took the Czech’s career total to 24 titles, including four in the first five months of 2018.

The final was evenly contested, with both players getting three breaks each while saving many more chances.

The key moment came when Bertens appeared to have swung the momentum back in her favour by pulling back a break in the third set, only for Kvitova to strike right back and recover the advantage for a 5-3 lead. She served out for the championship.

"It feels great, it does not matter if it is the first, second or third title," Kvitova said.

The roof of the Caja Magica was closed without play being interrupted when it began raining in the second set.

On the men’s side, Dominic Thiem beat Kevin Anderson 6-4, 6-2 to advance to the final.

The fifth-seeded Thiem arrived at the semifinals after dealing top-ranked Rafael Nadal his first loss on clay in a year.

Thiem beat the sixth-seeded Anderson after breaking both of his first service games in each set.

He will play second-seeded Alexander Zverev or Denis Shapovalov in Sunday’s final.

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