Veronika Kudermetova knocks out defending champion Kiki Bertens in Madrid

Bertens had claimed the Madrid title at the event's most recent edition in 2019

Veronika Kudermetova celebrates her win; Credit: WTA Twitter

Veronika Kudermetova produced a shock 6-4, 6-3 victory over the 2019 titlist Kiki Bertens in the second round of the Mutua Madrid Open. Kudermetova has been enjoying a positive run of late and her good streak continued with her 80-minute victory over World No.10 Bertens, “I think it was a really tough match because she’s a good player, every time she’s fighting,” Kudermetova said on court, after her victory. “I’m really happy about my win today.”

Recently, Kudermetova won her first career WTA singles title at the Volvo Car Open in Charleston and followed it up with a semifinal run last week in Istanbul. In Madrid, Bertens, who had won the Madrid title at the event’s most recent edition in 2019, was up an early break in each set, but she failed to hang on to it.

Earlier, Bertens was leading the opening set 4-2. But Kudermetova fought back impressively two games later to convert her third break point of that game to level the set at 4-4. After saving a break point, Kudermetova continued to stay aggressive, which helped her to seal the set 6-4.

In the second set, Kudermetova stormed back from an early break down to reach a position of dominance. Bertens struggled to break the Russian’s control over the game as Kudermetova won the set and the match.

In the round of 16, Kudermetova will face another former Madrid champion Petra Kvitova. She had ousted Angelique Kerber earlier on Saturday to reach the last-16.

“I’ve never played against [Kvitova],” Kudermetova said. “She’s a great player, she’s a Grand Slam champion, and I’m really looking forward to the next round.”

Bencic survives

No.8 seed Belinda Bencic has prevailed 3-6, 6-1, 7-6 over American qualifier Bernarda Pera in hard-fought contest. The match lasted a staggering two hours and 39 minutes, which sent Bencic into a round-of-16 meeting with Ons Jabeur.

Elsewhere, Spain’s Paula Badosa edged past Jil Teichmann of Switzerland, 5-7, 6-1, 6-2. “It means a lot,” Badosa told the reporters after her win.

“I love this tournament. It’s my favorite tournament. I love to play on clay. I’m feeling very good since Charleston. I’m having very good feelings on the clay court.”

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