Twenty-six-year-old Kiki Bertens is off to a strong clay-court season after taking the trophy at the 2018 Volvo Car Open in Charleston, S.C., Sunday. Berten’s victory – her biggest title to date – comes after toppling Germany’s Julia Goerges, 6-2, 6-1, in the 58-minute final. 

The Netherlands native did not have it easy on the way to her first Premier title. Rain on Saturday postponed her semifinal match against American Madison Keys until Sunday morning, when the two tangled in a three-set brawl. The almost three-hour battle saw the pair split sets, until Bertens managed to save a match point in the third set before ultimately taking the tiebreak and ousting the 2017 US Open finalist, 6-4, 6-7, 7-6. Bertens had to go on court a few hours later to play the final against Goerges.

Here’s more on the Dutchwoman, whose latest victory elevated her ranking six spots to No. 21 in the world.

The Kiki Bertens File

Age: 26
Birthplace: Wateringen, Netherlands
Current Rank: 21
Career-High Rank: 18 (May 2017)
Best US Open Finish: Second Round (2012, 2015)

The Baseline:

- Bertens has an affinity for clay, having historically performed her best on the fine-grained surface. She won her first title in 2012 at the Morocco Open and has since captured singles crowns in Nürenberg (2016, 2017) and Gstaad (2017), before taking her fifth championship on clay in Charleston.

- The Dutchwoman has also posted her best Grand Slam finish on clay. In 2016, the unseeded Bertens made an impressive semifinal run at Roland Garros, dismissing, among others, No. 3 seed Angelique Kerber in the first round, No. 15 Madison Keys in the round of 16 and No. 8 Timea Bacsinszky in the quarterfinals, before falling to Serena Williams.

- Bertens is also a decorated doubles player, having accrued 10 titles since turning pro in 2009, nine of which she won with Sweden’s Johanna Larsson. Bertens currently sits at No. 21 in the world in doubles after reaching a career-high of No. 17 earlier this month. She most recently took home the doubles title in Brisbane with compatriot Demi Schuurs.

- Former Top 50 ATP player Raemon Sluiter is Berten’s coach. He reached a career-high ranking of No. 46 in the world in 2003.

- Bertens has represented the Netherlands on the Dutch Fed Cup team in 2011, 2012 and from 2014-17. She also played on behalf of the Dutch at the 2016 Olympics in Rio.

They Said It!

"It's just unbelievable. I think I cannot really realize it yet, but I'm just so happy and proud I think of myself. It's a great start of the clay court season, and hopefully still more to come, but this one I have already and I'm really happy with that." – Bertens told after her victory over Julia Goerges in the Charleston final.