MADRID — When Petra Kvitova thought she couldn’t go on, she hit the critical shots to finally edge Kiki Bertens and claim a record third Madrid Open title on Saturday.
Kvitova outlasted Bertens, 7-6 (6), 4-6, 6-3, in a grueling final decided when Bertens hit a backhand long on the final point after nearly three hours.
“Everything that I had in my body, I just tried to put it out, even if it was very, very tough today,” said Kvitova, a Czech who was playing her 11th match in 13 days after also winning the Prague Open last weekend.
She added, “We both should be very proud of this beautiful final we played.”
Kvitova previously won on the Madrid clay in 2011 and 2015. This third win took her career total to 24 titles, including four in the first five months of 2018.
She and Bertens achieved three breaks each while saving many more chances.
The key moment came when Bertens, who is from the Netherlands, appeared to have swung the momentum in her favor by pulling back a break in the third set, only for Kvitova to strike right back and recover the advantage for a 5-3 lead. She served out for the championship.