Western & Southern Open, Cincinnati (USA)
Women’s Final:  Simona Halep (ROU) vs.  Kiki Bertens (NED)
Halep led their head-to-head 3:1 going into this final and had the advantage of winning their last two encounters; however, she did not count on fatigue being a factor. The weather affected the schedule and Halep had to play two matches in one day and after her victory last weekend, she was drained physically and mentally. Yet, the number one seed gave it a valiant effort and even had match point in the second set.
When you get to a final of one of these impressive tournaments, you want to give it your all to win the title and sometimes the adrenaline keeps you going despite the fatigue; however, adrenaline can only take you so far and Halep hit the wall after she lost the tiebreak. She won less than fifty percent of her first serve (45%) and less than twenty percent on her second serve (17%) in the third set. Those stats against a player with as much fire power as Bertens were a recipe for losing the set and the match.
Sometimes, you get an opportunity to close out a match and if you do not do so, you live to regret it. Yet, in her defense, Halep was exhausted and Bertens elevated her game. With the last major rapidly approaching, the US Open, Bertens no doubt would love to make a deep run in the draw. Now that she has proven she can win big on hard court, she is a legitimate threat for the title given the fact that the top ranked players have been rather inconsistent in form of late. Bertens won 2-6, 7-6(6), 6-2 to claim the biggest title of her career and she defeated both the number one and two ranked players on the WTA Tour to do so.
Having said that, everyone elevates their game for the majors as we have seen time and time again; it certainly would be interesting to see which female player will surprise us at the US Open this year.
SOURCE OF IMAGE: Zimbio.com (Rob Carr/Getty Images North America-Kiki Bertens)