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August 19, 2018

Kiki Bertens

Cincinnati, Ohio

S. HALEP/S. Halep

2-6, 7-6, 6-2

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. Congratulations. Just talk us through that final set and your emotions and getting closer to the finish.
KIKI BERTENS: Yeah, I think I didn't have really the good time to get nervous, because I was just so tired, also (smiling).

I think it was such a tough match, and after winning that second set I knew, like, anything is still possible. Just keep on going.

And then I had a chat with Raemon at 2-1 and I was, like, I'm dead. He's, like, looking at me. Then I said to myself, No, I can do this. Let's go for it.

So it was just nice to sit down and have a moment with him at that time.

Q. How did you pull around that second set? It looked like you built that lead, she came back, and then there was that big ninth game you were able to hold at 5-4. It seemed like from there you slowly kind of figured something out on the court.
KIKI BERTENS: Yeah, I think in the beginning I knew that I had to play aggressive, but I was -- yeah, I was a little bit doubting sometimes, like where should I hit? Because she's such a great mover also on the court.

I think in the second set I had that feeling a little bit more, like, where I could attack her serve or where I could play a little bit more forward coming to the net. Yeah, the second and the third I was more feeling that.

Q. When your body is telling your mind, I'm dead, like you just said, how do you get past that? Because you're not going to win if you stay there.
KIKI BERTENS: Yeah, Raemon also just said, That's why you put all that hard work in. I was, like, Yeah, I know this feeling. I had this feeling before in the practices. So I know that I can keep on going.

Yeah, it's for a title, so of course you can always give a little extra and just go for it. And that's what I did.

Q. Did you draw any experience from the match yesterday against Kvitova where you were down a set and able to come back and able to win it in three?
KIKI BERTENS: I think it's a good feeling that, like, after a set that still anything is possible. My body was still feeling good after the first set. And I know that it could only be better, like, from my side from hitting the ball. So, yeah, I was still confident.

Q. After you lost the first set, Simona was playing really well. What are you thinking on the changeover? How are you regrouping? What tactics are you using?
KIKI BERTENS: Well, at that point I was, like, Okay, the way I'm playing right now, it's not really working.

I had to run too much on the court, and she's, like, really good at that. So I was, like, Okay, there is only one chance and you have to play a little bit more aggressive, go a little bit more for your returns and for your serve, and, yeah, that was working.

Q. What are you most proud of about the last two weeks?
KIKI BERTENS: That I just played so many matches and just keep on going, so many great wins, and that I could really enjoy it. Winning a title like this, my first hard court title, and then against No. 1 of the world, getting my career high on Monday.

I don't know. It's just coming everything together, I guess.

Q. 70% of the tour is played on hard courts. Now that you have unlocked this hard court potential in yourself the last couple of weeks, how does that feel, knowing that it's going to be a great surface for you?
KIKI BERTENS: Yeah, that's a great feeling. Like, normally I was, like, really looking forward to the clay court season. So, okay, I'm looking forward to that again next year. But it's such a great feeling that you can play on other surfaces really well, as well, and that you can, yeah, win tournaments like this, also.

Q. Is this the best day of your career, do you think?
KIKI BERTENS: I think so, yeah, like winning on a surface that you didn't really know, like, coming into this year that that was possible. Yeah, that's a great feeling.

Q. Do you have any plans to kind of wind down for a while?
KIKI BERTENS: Well, I don't know. We're just going to celebrate it tonight and see how the body is tomorrow. We will fly to New Haven tomorrow and see how the body is feeling. See if I can play another tournament there.

Q. Do you think this run maybe somehow can change your mentality a bit entering the US Open, or...
KIKI BERTENS: I don't know. Maybe, like, a lot of people are watching different now against me. Also maybe some, with the Dutch press and stuff like that that's coming behind me. But I'm just going to enjoy this moment. I know anything is still possible.

Also, for New York, there is such a lot of great girls that can play really well. It can also be over there after one round. But we see. I try to work hard again and do my best in New York.

Q. Right after you won, you kind of grabbed your face. And then the same after you went and embraced your coach. And then again walking through the tunnel.

Q. Have you had time to think about what you have achieved? How do you process that?
KIKI BERTENS: Yeah, just with Raemon, that moment, I was just, like, crying. I don't know. I was so tired, and I didn't really know how I did this. Winning such a big event, it was, like, such a great feeling.

But, yeah, I'm getting it now a little bit. It's sinking in. I'm just -- yeah, I'm just really enjoying it right now.

Q. What do you think of this trophy? A unique one, tennis balls on a vase.
KIKI BERTENS: Yeah, doesn't matter how the trophy looks. I don't know. I'm just so proud, and it's such a great feeling to hold the trophy at the end of the week.

Q. Coming into this, what kind of outcome were you expecting? Were you anticipating this?
KIKI BERTENS: Not really, to be honest, no. I think when we flew to Canada last week, my coach said, like, Okay, anything is possible. Maybe you play another final here in the States.

Hearing that, I was kind of laughing, like, Okay, I don't know how I'm gonna do that. I need to improve a little bit about my game.

Last week I played some great matches. Here, also. I think he was right, yeah.

Q. (Question about the Dutch press coming to New York.)
KIKI BERTENS: I think they will be really nice. No, it's always nice. I think attention is always good. If you win tournaments, it's a nice feeling, and I'm just trying to be better again tomorrow.

Q. I'm just wondering, how do you see New York as a city? It can be sometimes draining. How do you deal with that? Because here in Mason, Ohio, it's not as busy. Charleston is so pretty. So how do you deal with a city like New York?
KIKI BERTENS: It's tough, I would say. I really love New York because it's so busy, but after four, five days I get exhausted about that.

It's just like finding some "me" time, I guess. Just going for a little walk in Central Park. Just grabbing a coffee somewhere. I think I just really have to enjoy those moments and to be out of the city a bit.

Q. With winning a big tournament comes a big paycheck. Are you the type of player who will go and treat yourself to something really nice, or does it go right in the bank?
KIKI BERTENS: I haven't really thought about that (smiling). For sure, I always buy, like, a nice memory about tournaments. It doesn't have to be something really big, but I haven't really think about something. So we'll see.

Q. In terms of being able to relax more in New York, have you thought about renting a house versus staying in hotels?
KIKI BERTENS: No, we decided to stay in a hotel close to Central Park, that we can just hang out there a little bit, because there most of the time you can find a little calm spot.

Q. There may be a few other players roaming around?
KIKI BERTENS: Yeah, maybe. But that's also fine.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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