One of the underrated quarterfinal matches of the Mutua Madrid Open saw Kiki Bertens and Anastasija Sevastova face off for a place in their first-ever semifinal of a Premier Mandatory event, with the Latvian triumphing in the high-quality clash after just 1 hour and 12 minutes.
Sevastova steals the set
It was generally a tight match from the first point onwards as both players have been playing their best throughout the whole week, with neither losing a single set despite facing higher-ranked players. Both players performed impressively in the opening games as they played some world-class offensive tennis, disallowing either to earn any break points in the opening seven games of play. The forehands from both were working well in the early stages, producing some great shots as it aided them in dictating play.
However, everything started to go wrong for Bertens as the Roland Garros semifinalist missed a total of two game point opportunities in the eighth game and allowed Sevastova to make the first breakthrough and take the lead just at the most crucial moment. With some great precision on her serve, the Latvian managed to consolidate the break and successfully served out the set to love as the Dutch was unable to find any loopholes in the solid serve of Sevastova once again, allowing the 27-year-old to clinch the first set 6-3 after just 33 minutes.
Sevastova seals the match
Carrying the momentum over from the victory of the first set, Sevastova made the important breakthrough in the opening game of the second set as she hit some great returns to break serve and take the lead of a set and a break, saving a game point in the process. Comfortably consolidating the break of serve, Sevastova continued her high quality of play as she opened up a 2-0 lead in the second set, with the win looking to be within her reach.
However, Bertens finally had her first look at a possible service break as she hit a wonderful drop shot winner and managed to get to deuce on the return for the first time in the match. Despite so, she was unable to earn a break point opportunity as Sevastova narrowly held her serve and kept the advantage. The streak of consecutive service holds finally ended at seven as it was Sevastova, the much better player on the court today, who broke serve once more just right at the last moment as Bertens’ serve crumbled at the important points, missing a game point and allowing the Latvian to convert on her second match point.
This sealed a place for Sevastova in her first ever Premier Mandatory semifinal where she would face Simona Halep, who defeated Coco Vandeweghe in a highly one-sided match at the quarterfinals stage. Hitting a massive 16 winners in just 72 minutes as compared to just a mere four unforced errors, Sevastova’s game today was largely unstoppable and was just too much for Bertens.