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Champions Corner: Bertens from the brink of retirement to World No.4 – ‘I came a long way’

WTA Insider: By now you know all the statistics. On Monday you’ll be ranked a career-high No.4, making history for the Netherlands as the highest-ranked Dutchwoman ever. You won your biggest title here in Madrid, you didn’t lose a set, the first woman to win the title without dropping a set. You were a bulldozer this week.
Those all sound pretty good to me, I would say (laughing). I’m just really happy with how this week went. I played some really good tennis, really solid, winning for the first time such a big event and then being No.4 in the world on Monday it’s just been an amazing week.  

WTA Insider: What do you take the most pride in?
I think I’m just really happy that I was able to play a really good week again here in Madrid. Of course there was some pressure going into this week because I made the finals last year, so if you lose early you drop a lot of points and then it’s tough again to reach your highest ranking, which is what we were going for. 

So I’m just really proud of myself that I was just pretty calm the whole week. That I could just go on court, try to give my best, try to find solutions to win the match and just be pretty solid. As a result of that, of course, it’s great to win this title and to be No.4.

WTA Insider: It was not an easy draw here for you. You beat four major champions in Ostapenko, Kvitova, Stephens, and Halep. Where did that sense of calm come from?
I think I grew a lot over the last 52 weeks, I would say. I know that stress is not helping you, but that’s easier said than done, of course. So I’m just really happy that I could manage it this week, just to go out there every day again, just try to play my best. I knew sometimes it was not my best, but I was still pretty calm and finding my solutions and then, the next day again. So I was just every day putting in the work helps a lot. That’s where I’m proud of.  

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