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Bertens vs Rybakina WTA s-Hertogenbosch Preview, Predictions and Live Streaming: Bertens seeks first grass-court final

Leye Aduloju in WTA Tour 14 Jun 2019
  • Kiki Bertens vs Elena Rybakina is live from s-Hertogenbosch on Saturday from 1:00pm local time/ 12:00pm BST
  • First meeting between Bertens and Rybakina
Kiki Bertens (PA Sport)

Kiki Bertens seeks her maiden grass-court final when she takes on Kazakh teenager, Elena Rybakina on Saturday. 

*Geo-restrictions apply. Streams available to customers with an active balance


After finishing off a 7-5 6-3 victory over Arantxa Rus- carried over from the previous day because of a rain delay- earlier on Friday, Bertens returned to the court later in the day to power to a 6-3 6-3 victory over Russia's Natalia Vikhlyantseva, and book her place in the last four of her home tournament.

Vikhlyantseva made the final in s-Hertogenbosch in 2017, and pushed Bertens to a deciding set tie break in the opening round last season, but she was a distant second best on Friday, as Bertens eased to victory in just 70 minutes.

The home favourite did not face a single break point throughout the contest, winning 82% of points on her first serve, and 57% on the second. She was a perfect 3 from 3 on break points against Vikhlyantseva, breaking twice in the first set and once in the second before closing out the win on her fifth match point.

“I’m really happy with today’s win," Bertens said, after her victory. "[Vikhlyantseva is] a great player on the grass, I had a really tough first-round battle [with her] last year."  
“I played better than my second-round match, I was really happy with that… I’m really happy to be in the semis of my home tournament."

She has now advanced to the last four without dropping a set, beating Johanna Larsson, Rus, and Vikhlyantseva in her three matches so far. Bertens is playing her first tournament since an unfortunate second round retirement at Roland Garros. The Dutchwoman arrived Paris as one the favourites for the title, but her tournament came to a disappointing end when she was forced to retire through illness in the first set of her second round meeting with Viktoria Kuzmova.

A fine season has already produced two titles- St. Petersburg and Madrid, with the world No. 4 also making semi-finals in Sydney, Stuttgart, Rome, and now, s-Hertogenbosch. 

Bertens is into the s-Hertogenbosch semis for the second time in her career, and the first time since 2015. She has not been that far in any other grass court tournament. The 27-year-old had previously been seen as a clay-court specialist, but she has changed that perception in the last year and a half. Bertens remains one of the very best on clay, like she showed in her stunning run to the Madrid title, but she has become a formidable force on all surfaces, winning hard-court titles in Cincinnati and Seoul last year, and St. Petersburg this year, and reaching the quarter finals at Wimbledon last season.

Can she advance to her first grass-court final by taking down Rybakina on Saturday?


Rybakina has reached her first ever WTA semi-final in very impressive fashion, moving through two rounds of qualifying, and three main draw matches without dropping set.

The 19-year-old defeated Barbora Stefkova and Christina McHale in the qualifying rounds, before powering through Varvara Lepchenko, Alison Van Uytvanck and Kirsten Flipkens in the main draw. She has not lost more than four games in any of her six sets in the main draw.

Rybakina was clutch on the big points in her quarter-final against two-time s-Hertogenbosch finalist, Flipkens, saving all four break points she faced, and converting two of the six she carved out on Flipkens' serve. She broke in the third game of the first set, and went on to close out the set on her fourth set point, before breaking again for 3-2 in the second set, after saving four break points in the previous game.

“It was a tough match," Rybakina said. "Every match is tough for me. I'm happy because I served well today and I think this was the key. I played good."

Before Friday's victory over Flipkens, Rybakina was 0-2 in WTA quarter finals, losing to Julia Goerges in St. Petersburg last February, and to Barbora Strycova in Istanbul just couple of months back. Apart from that quarter final run in Istanbul, her only other previous tour-level main draw appearance in 2019 was at Roland Garros, where she fell to Katerina Siniakova in first round, having come through the qualifiers. She failed to qualify for the Australian Open and Budapest earlier in the year.

Rybakina has had more success at ITF level, winning titles in Playford, Launceston, Moscow and Kazan, all of which have played a big part in her rise to a current career-high ranking of 134th. She is guaranteed to climb a lot higher next Monday after her latest exploits in s-Hertogenbosch, and could go as high as the top-100 (depending on other results) if she beats top seed, Bertens on Saturday.

"She's a top player, a great player, and I want to play with such players, so I will try my best.", Rybakina said.

As well as Rybakina has played this week, Bertens has also been in excellent form, and the top seed and home favourite, starts as the overwhelming favourite to reach the s-Hertogenbosch final.

Kiki Bertens vs Elena Rybakina is live from s-Hertogenbosch on Saturday from 1:00pm local time/ 12:00pm BST


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Bertens vs Rybakina WTA s-Hertogenbosch Preview, Predictions and Live Streaming: Bertens seeks first grass-court final

Kiki Bertens seeks her first tour-level grass-court final when she takes on Kazakh teenager, Elena Rybakina in s-Hertogenbosch. Read our preview, predictions and stream the match live online.

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