Kiki Bertens continued her stunning run of form after claiming her second consecutive top-10 win over Petra Kvitova in a surprisingly one-sided encounter in the third round of the 2018 Rogers Cup. Having come into the tournament without any wins against top-10 players on hard courts, the world number 18 is having yet another breakthrough week after defeating ninth-ranked Karolina Pliskova the previous day.
Bertens triumphed 6-3, 6-2 over the two-time Major champion and needed just an hour and 12-minutes to grab the terrific win over the erratic Czech. Kvitova misfired 28 unforced errors and hit just eight winners, which is a relatively rare sight as you would rarely see Kvitova end a match with a single digit on the winner count. Bertens was rock solid and consistent enough to provide a tough challenge, ending the match with just 15 unforced errors as she lost just 19 points on serve overall.
Bertens closes out the opening set at the eleventh hour
It was a breathtaking start for both players as they were incredibly solid on their serves with neither able to make the breakthrough on the return. Six consecutive service holds came and went to start the match, and no break points surfaced through this series of games. This meeting is a repeat of the Mutua Madrid Open final which took three hours to complete, and the fans were looking forward to yet another thriller between these two.
After what seemed like an eternity, it was Bertens who drew the first blood as Kvitova started to misfire consistently, and unable to find her range. The world number 18 was extremely solid and her counterpunching style of play caused Kvitova to be increasingly frustrated especially with her unforced error count increasing.
Being too leaky at the net and sloppy at the baseline, Kvitova found herself in deep trouble once more and Bertens took full advantage — ultimately taking the opening set 6-3 after a quick 31 minutes of play.
Galore of breaks allow Bertens to claim the win
Continuing to ride on her momentum from the first set, Bertens was playing at an incredibly high level as she stormed towards a love service hold within a blink of an eye to start the second set on a high note. Nothing was going right for Kvitova as she just could not find the court with her explosive game and she failed to find her rhythm, firing 28 unforced errors ultimately.
Three straight breaks followed as Kvitova snapped the six-game losing streak before Bertens dug deep to fend off multiple break points in the fifth game to finally consolidate the break for a commanding 4-1 lead. Her powerful serve managed to save her from the brink, and that game decided the outcome of the match as Kvitova completely ran out of steam and had nothing left in her tank.
Although Bertens failed to serve out the match, Kvitova was broken for an astonishing fourth time in the set, and she fell victim to an inspired Bertens after 73 minutes of play to fall with a one-sided 3-6, 2-6 scoreline. Furthermore, it is worth noting that the Czech only managed to hold serve thrice in the match and was broken on six different occasions, the first time such a phenomenon occurred in a straight-sets match to Kvitova since 2014.