Korea change sees Bertens take title in Seoul
Kiki Bertens continued her impressive season as she overcame Ajla Tomljanovic in three sets to win the Korea Open on Sunday.
The second seed recorded a 7-6 (7-2) 4-6 6-2 victory in Seoul for her seventh WTA Tour title and third of 2018, adding to her previous successes in Charleston and Cincinnati this year.
Bertens, 26, was pushed hard by Croatia-born Australian Tomljanovic, who fought back from a set down to send an entertaining final into a decider.
Despite serving six double faults in the first set, Bertens took the opener in a tie-break after twice coming from a break down.
Tomljanovic again landed the first blow in the second set, but she was unable to consolidate after breaking for a 2-0 lead.
Kiki Bertens wins her 2nd hardcourt title of the season (2 of her last 3 events), wins the last 6 games to defeat Ajla Tomljanovic 76 46 62 and win Seoul. Tremendous week for both women. Tomljanovic will hit a new career-high on Monday.— WTA Insider (@WTA_insider) September 23, 2018
A fine backhand pass down the line saw Bertens break for 4-3, only for Tomljanovic to respond in style, winning three straight games to level the match before taking a 2-0 lead in the third set.
But, with a maiden title appearing on the cards when one point shy of going 3-0 up, she faded badly down the stretch.
Bertens, in contrast, finished strongly, reeling off six games on the spin to not only secure the trophy but also boost her hopes of qualifying for the season-ending WTA Finals in Singapore.