Bertens cruises past Garcia to reach Madrid final

Madrid (AFP) –


Dutchwoman Kiki Bertens continued her remarkable run at the Madrid Open by thrashing French seventh seed Caroline Garcia on Friday to reach the final.

The world number 20 will face either Petra Kvitova or Karolina Pliskova in the biggest match of her career on Saturday, after brushing aside Garcia 6-2, 6-2.

Bertens, who had already stunned world number two Caroline Wozniacki and five-time Grand Slam champion Maria Sharapova earlier in the week, started brightly and broke twice en route to the opening set.

Garcia struggled throughout and never even mustered a break-point opportunity, falling in the semi-finals for the second straight tournament after losing to CoCo Vandeweghe in Stuttgart.

Bertens, whose five previous WTA titles have all come on clay, was rock-solid in the second set as she wrapped up the win in only an hour and seven minutes.

Two-time Wimbledon champion Kvitova takes on her fellow Czech Pliskova in the second last-four clash.

Earlier on Friday, South African world number eight Kevin Anderson battled into the men's semi-finals with a 7-6 (7/3), 3-6, 6-3 win over Serbian Dusan Lajovic.

Awaiting Anderson in the semis will be either local hero Rafael Nadal or Austrian Dominic Thiem.

Anderson, the 31-year-old US Open runner-up last year, won largely due to his 15 aces and by making 35 winners to Lajovic's 20.