GSTAAD, Switzerland - She was runner-up a season ago, but No.2 seed Kiki Bertens went one better at the Ladies Championship Gstaad on Sunday, winning her second title of the season with a 6-4, 3-6, 6-1 victory over No.3 seed Anett Kontaveit in the final.
The victory is Bertens' second on the WTA and on clay this year, after raising the trophy at the Nürnberger Versicherungscup before Roland Garros, and the fourth title of her career.
"It's just been an amazing week here...the court is good, all the facilities are good for me," Bertens said. "You can say I really like it here...I was hungry to come here and really go for it, and I was really happy that I could go one more step today. Every day was going a bit better, and today I think I played my best match of the week."
Bertens sprinted out of the gates to begin the match, as she broke the Kontaveit serve twice en route to building a 3-0 lead. However, the Estonian quickly regrouped at the first changeover and began to find her form, running off three straight games of her own to even the opener.
Nonetheless, a four-deuce game saw the run of breaks extend to five of the first serve games, as Bertens finally converted on her third opportunity of the game to push back in front. The Dutchwoman settled on serve from there, as she dropped just one point her in next two service games to close out the opening set, 6-4 - ending with an emphatic hold to love.
The script was flipped in more ways than one in the second set, as just one break decided it in the Estonian's favor. She saved break point in the opening game, and broke through on Bertens' serve in the fourth game to take a lead she'd never relinquish.
Kontaveit proved much more effective behind her serve in the second set, though she raised her first serves in by just five percent (65 to 70). The No.3 seed won just 50 percent of the points played behind both serves in an opener where she dropped serve three times, but won 73 and 64 percent of the points played behind her first and second deliveries, respectively, in the middle set.
Forced to save break points in the first and fifth games, Kontaveit emphatically sent the match to decider by dropping just one point in her final two service games of the set - just as Bertens did the opener.
However, the No.2 seed would not be denied in the decider, as she won the last five games of the match to claim victory. After saving a break point in the third game - the lone opportunity Kontaveit held in the decider - Bertens broke at love in the fourth game to put herself in change, and never looked back the rest of the way.
"It's always disappointing to lose, but I thought Kiki played well. She really deserved it and I'm really happy for her. If I wanted to lose to anyone, I would've wanted to lose to her this week," Kontaveit said in defeat. "I didn't feel like I played perfect tennis this week, but I was just fighting each match...and I felt like I played really well on the key points in almost every match. To get these key points gives a bit of confidence and I think that's a positive thing I'll take out of this week."
Betens later made it a clean sweep as she and Johanna Larsson won the doubles crown; the top seeds took down Viktorija Golubic and Nina Stojanovic, 7-6(4), 4-6, 10-7.
"It's always fun to play with Kiki and a title makes it even more great. It's been a lovely week here in the mountains, and it could not be a better end," Larsson said. "I think we're always having a lot of fun, and we try to improve - we try and make the best of it and have fun. The doubles is more like a bonus, and it's just coming in a flow for us."