Final 12 months, Bertens got here in for the injured Simona Halep and superior to the semifinals, ousting high seed Angelique Kerber alongside the way in which.
And it got here just a few weeks after Barty saved a match level in opposition to Bertens within the semifinals of a event in Beijing. A win in that match would have sealed Bertens’ spot on the year-end championships.
Barty slipped to 1-1 within the group stage though a defeat appeared extremely unlikely early within the second set. The Australian led by a break on two totally different events together with Three-2, properly on target to increase her file over Bertens to an ideal 6-Zero.
However the French Open champion’s all-around sport regularly waned and Bertens, who can equally defend and assault in equal measure, prospered. Bertens needed to stand up to a comeback within the ultimate set, shutting the door after a Four-Zero lead grew to become Four-Three. She notched up a tour-leading 55th win regardless of coping with comprehensible fatigue.
An extended stretch
Bertens has performed in tournaments each week because the US Open, together with final week on the Elite Trophy — a secondary year-end championships — in Zhuhai close to Shenzhen.
She admitted she was “OK sitting on the sofa” earlier than getting the decision to play.
“I believe in the present day I already felt significantly better. After all, it isn’t like after at some point you’re fully again to full power. After all, you are like, ‘OK, another, another.’ That retains me going. We see how far I can go.”
It was simply two years in the past that Bertens thought-about quitting tennis even with all of the success she was having fun with. The enjoyable had dissipated and he or she was more and more weighed down. That got here after a well being scare when she was recognized with a mass on her thyroid gland. A 12 months elapsed earlier than Bertens was instructed the mass wasn’t cancerous.
Bencic confronted Kvitova within the different Purple Group encounter, with each in search of a primary win this week.
Whereas Bencic completed the common season strongly — reaching the semifinals on the US Open — an arm damage hampered Kvitova following a blistering begin to 2019. She suspected it may need been linked to being attacked in her residence and struggling a career-threatening hand damage in 2016.
Like Bertens, Bencic overturned a dropping file in opposition to the free-swinging Czech — in her case, 1-Four — to prevail.
Kvitova did not take her alternatives within the first set Sunday in opposition to Osaka in a rematch of the Australian Open ultimate and the identical factor occurred in opposition to Bencic, who has added energy to her craftiness.
The important thing second of the third set got here when Bencic saved a break probability at Three-Four, then broke for 5-Four.
Bencic, Barty, Bertens and Kvitova are all nonetheless in rivalry to advance to the semifinals, with the winner of Bencic’s match in opposition to Bertens Thursday assured to progress.