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Bertens vs Rus WTA s-Hertogenbosch live streaming, preview and tips - Bertens aims for quarter-finals against compatriot at Libema Open

Andrew Hendrie in WTA Tour 13 Jun 2019
  • Kiki Bertens vs Arantxa Rus is live from s-Hertogenbosch around 2.30pm local time on Thursday (1.30pm BST)
  • It's the first tour-level meeting between the pair
Kiki Bertens (PA Images)

World No. 4 Kiki Bertens targets a spot in the Libema Open quarter-finals in s-Hertogenbosch on Thursday when she faces wildcard and compatriot Arantxa Rus.

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It’s an all-Dutch affair in the second round of the Libema Open as top seed Kiki Bertens squares off against wildcard Arantxa Rus for a spot in the quarter-finals on Thursday.

Bertens hasn’t had the best of times at her home tournament in s-Hertogenbosch throughout her career, losing in the opening round four times in her six appearances, with her best result a semi-final run in 2015, while she lost in the second round last year to former Wimbledon semi-finalist Kirsten Flipkens. However, Bertens returns to s-Hertogenbosch as an all-court player and a top four star after a tremendous last 12 months across all surfaces.

Bertens’ transition from clay-court specialist to all-court master began on grass last year after she beat Venus Williams on her way to the Wimbledon quarter-finals, while the Dutchwoman also picked up hardcourt titles in Cincinnati (where she beat World No. 1 Simona Halep in the final) and Seoul, along with qualifying for the WTA Finals Singapore for the first time and making it to the semi-finals of the season-ending championships, solidifying herself as one of the WTA’s best players. Bertens, who contemplated retirement a few years ago, has continued her superb form throughout 2019, compiling a 28-11 record for the season, including winning two titles in St. Petersburg and the Premier Mandatory Mutua Madrid Open, where she beat four Grand Slam champions on her way to the silverware: Jelena Ostapenko, Petra Kvitova, Sloane Stephens and Halep.

As a result, Bertens arrived at Roland Garros as one of the main favourites for the title and with the chance to hit the No. 1 ranking, but unfortunately her tournament ended in heartbreaking fashion, with Bertens forced to retire from her second round clash against Viktoria Kuzmova due to illness. Bertens said she woke up feeling sick, and after toiling away for a few games, she called the doctor to court and subsequently pulled the plug. It was a devastating blow to hit Bertens right when she was peaking for a major tournament, but she’s already put that disappointment behind her, winning her opening round in s-Hertogenbosch 6-3 6-1 over Johanna Larsson. Can she win a first grass-court title this week?

Arantxa Rus (PA Images)
Arantxa Rus stands in her way in the second round. A former Australian Open junior champion and junior World No. 1, the left-handed Rus hasn’t been able to translate that early success onto the WTA Tour so far in her career, with her best success coming on clay quite early in her career, including a big win over World No. 2 Kim Clijsters in the second round of the 2011 French Open, where she saved two match points, while she also made the Round of 16 at Roland Garros the following year and the third round of Wimbledon - however, remarkably, that was the last time (in 2012) that she won a Grand Slam match.


That stat alone illustrates just how tough Rus has found it to make the full-time transition from junior phenom to an established WTA player, and although she’s shown glimpses of the player she could be, the Dutchwoman just can’t find the consistency in her game to produce her best tennis week in and week out. Now 28 years of age, Rus has spent the bulk of her year plugging away on the ITF circuit, winning two titles in Santa Margherita Di Pula in back-to-back weeks in April, but she’s only scored two wins on the WTA tour, beating World No. 109 Fiona Ferro to make the second round in Budapest and a 7-5 6-4 victory over fellow wildcard and World No. 169 Bibiane Schoofs here in s-Hertogenbosch to set up Thursday’s showdown with Bertens.

It will be the first tour-level meeting between the pair, and it’s tough to see anything but a convincing Bertens win. The World No. 4 is such a complete player across all surfaces now and was dominant in her opening grass match of the season against Larsson, while Rus hasn’t been competing at tour-level basically all season and didn’t look too impressive in her opening round win. It would be a massive shock if Bertens lost this one - expect the top seed to sail into the last eight.


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Bertens vs Rus WTA s-Hertogenbosch live streaming, preview and tips - Bertens aims for quarter-finals against compatriot at Libema Open

World No. 4 Kiki Bertens targets a spot in the Libema Open quarter-finals in s-Hertogenbosch on Thursday when she faces wildcard and compatriot Arantxa Rus.

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