MONTREAL, Canada - Kiki Bertens continued her fine form at the Coupe Rogers, needing just two sets to stun No.9 seed Karolina Pliskova in the second round.
After dropping only three games in her opening match against local wildcard Carol Zhao, Bertens notched her 6-2, 6-2 victory against the big-serving Czech in just over an hour and 25 minutes.
Bertens came into the tournament looking to continue her career-best results during the European clay and grass swings, which saw her reach her biggest final at Madrid Open and quarterfinals at Wimbledon, where she defeated Pliskova along the way.
But the hardcourts here have never been kind to Bertens: she amassed a 1-6 main draw record in the last two years at US Open series tournaments, and had yet to beat a Top 10 player on a hardcourt, going 0-9.
She snapped both of those streaks in her second-round Montreal clash against Pliskova, breaking the Czech’s serve seven times on her way to a straight sets win.
Pliskova’s normally powerful serves weren’t having their full effect, giving Bertens plenty of looks at second serves and free points - Pliskova racked up eight double faults across both sets. Bertens came away with the edge after three straight breaks of serve at the start of the match, getting ahead 2-1.
Pliskova had plenty of chances to grab the break back and edge back into the match: she brought up break back points at 3-2, and a few games later she was up 40-0 on her serve - but Bertens denied her both times, breaking Pliskova once more to run away with the set.
The third set features six breaks of serve as both players wrestled to keep the momentum on their side. Bertens notched two crucial service holds to assert herself in the set, wrapping up the match after an hour and 25 minutes on court.
Up next, Bertens will face the No.8 seed Petra Kvitova in the third round of the Coupe Rogers.
More to follow...