Tuesday, 20 November, 2018

Halep, Stephens advance to Rogers Cup final

Simona Halep of Romania celebrates her victory over Ashleigh Barty of Australia during semifinals play at the Rogers Cup tennis tournament Saturday Aug. 11 2018 in Montreal Halep, Stephens advance to Rogers Cup final
Shannon Reynolds | 13 August, 2018, 04:02

It's obviously upsetting that I didn't win, but I think I got better than the last final we played.

Top seed Simona Halep sent Caroline Garcia packing for the second consecutive year at the Rogers Cup in Montreal on Friday with a 7-5 6-1 win to set up a semifinal showdown with Ashleigh Barty on Saturday.

Halep has won her last six meetings with the 25-year-old American.

Halep let off steam at the Women's Tennis Association after her quarterfinal Friday for giving her a hard schedule on a week in which she played twice on the one day due to a rain delay.

The Frenchwoman might have thought she was at a practice session with her team as she took on Maria Sharapova at the Rogers Cup third round, playing a feisty game with smooth, basic strategies to win over the Russian 6-3, 6-2.

Simona Halep of Romania returns to Ashleigh Barty of Australia during semifinals play at the Rogers Cup tennis tournament Saturday Aug. 11 2018 in Montreal

The number three seed progressed to her third final of 2018, which will be a re-match of her French Open clash with Halep in June.

"I think I talked enough about it", she said. I played some slices. "Just going to kind of take it all in, realize I did a good job this week, and I can be proud of myself for that".

A large Romanian contingent waving red and yellow flags chanted Halep's name between points.

French Open champion Halep remained on track to reclaim the tournament she last won two years ago with a convincing 6-4 6-1 success. The American then wasted two set points as Halep forced a tiebreaker. The Ukrainian eventually locked on in the ninth game to take a break of her own, but the burst was short-lived and she again lost her serve and with it the set.

After a shaky start, Halep won three straight games to take the first set and dominated the second set behind pinpoint serving and stout defence. Stephens fought off three match points for one final service break before Halep closed it out. The second set was much routine for Garcia who had the ability to mix up her shots, be aggressive and execute drop shots and volleys to perfection.

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