Kiki Bertens, the newly crowned champion of the 2019 Mutua Madrid Open spoke to the press after her final against Simona Halep. The Dutch player took a look back at what has been one of the best weeks of her career and forwards to the upcoming clay tournaments.
On the match: “I think I played very solid today. I think at the beginning, I was a little bit searching for my game still, but I think the rest of the match I played really solid, really smart, and I was just going for my shots”.
The “lucky” point that helped her: “As well as playing well today, maybe I got a little bit lucky in the 4-3 game when I hit the ball in the fence and it hit her (smiling), but sometimes you need a little luck [laughing]”.
Did the experience of last year’s final help her?: “It helped me a lot. Last year was my first big final. It was a really tough match against Petra. She played really well. I also played a really good match and it was really tough to lose that one. But today, I was going out there with confidence, just playing my game, just being busy with that and with nothing else. And so I didn’t really feel the stress today. So I think, because of last year, I felt more ready to win it today”.
Being a clay player: “On clay, I really feel like I can play my own game. Even when I don’t play well, I’m not panicking too much which, on other surfaces, happens a little bit too much [smiling]. But on clay I feel confident, I feel the balance in my game, so it’s easier to return for me as well because I can go a little further back. So, I feel like almost in every game I have some opportunities, so it gives me a good balance, I would say”.
Madrid, the biggest title of her career: “I’m just really happy. I think after every title you feel something, of course. Sometimes it’s a lot of emotions. Sometimes it is really happiness. Sometimes it’s just not believing. But right now, I don’t know how I feel. I just feel really happy. I’m really proud of this week. I played some good tennis. No. 4 in the world on Monday, so it’s all amazing things”.
Her next goal… Roland Garros?: “Of course, you always go for that, but it’s still a long way to go. But, after this week, I feel great. I know I can beat a lot of girls. I can compete with the best in the world on clay, so I’m really happy with that and we’ll see in a few weeks who is going to win the French”.