Bertens keen to capitalise on WTA Finals reprieve

Last Updated 20 October 2018, 10:51 IST

Simona Halep's loss is Kiki Bertens' gain and the Dutchwoman plans to make the most of her WTA Finals debut in Singapore next week after slipping into the eight-woman field at the last moment when the world number one withdrew through injury.

Bertens has had her best year on tour to date, winning three titles and reaching the Wimbledon quarterfinals, but an early exit in Moscow this week left her ninth in the Race to Singapore standings and heading to Southeast Asia as a first alternate.

"After my loss in Moscow, I felt really disappointed not making it. Of course you're sad, but you know there is still a chance. But on the way to the airport, I got the call. I had some emotions there," Bertens told reporters on Saturday.

"I had to come anyway because I was the first alternate. But it was a better feeling on the flight sitting there knowing that I had to play a few days after, than maybe sitting here all week and not playing. So, yeah, that was a good feeling."

Bertens has been drawn in the Red Group alongside Naomi Osaka, Sloane Stephens and Angelique Kerber, who she opens her campaign against in round robin play on Monday, and hopes she can enjoy the tournament having secured a berth in the field.

"I hope it's going to be a little bit more relaxed from now on. I think there is always going to be some stress and tension. You always want to finish your season on good terms, because it's been an incredible season so far," she added.

"The last few weeks were a little bit more stressful. You try not to think about it, try just to play your match and go from there, but in your head you know like how many points you need to make Singapore.

"That would be like really a good season ending. But that's how it works. I think everyone had to deal with the pressure. But in the end we're all here."

(Published 20 October 2018, 10:40 IST)

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