Halep turns back Barty to reach Montreal final

Tanya Simon
August 15, 2018

Once again though Stephens appeared to be on her way to squandering the momentum, wasting three set points in the ninth game before finally converting her to force a decisive third set.

The top-seeded Halep started the match by breaking Ashleigh Barty's serve and she needed only 70 minutes to beat the 15th-seeded Australian 6-4, 6-1. She doesn't give up that much now.

After Stephens won the second set, Halep took control in the third, jumping out to a 5-2 lead.

Halep had two further chances to claim the victory Stephens' serve, only for the American to produce further impressive resistance to hold.

Halep had one of her best performances since the French Open, which she won, as she became the first player to reach 40 WTA wins this season.

"I felt like it was a gradual progression for me to come back and play tennis", said the five-foot-five Barty. "It's a semifinal. So I just go there and I try to play".

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Stephens had no such success in doubles, where she and Eugenie Bouchard of Montreal fell 6-4, 6-2 to Latisha Chan and Ekaterina Makarova in a quarterfinal.

"Both matches were insane good", said Halep. "I feel like I've done that pretty well this year", she said. I played some slices. Of course, she's a strong player.

Kiki Bertens of the Netherlands hits a forehand against Ashley Barty of Australia (not pictured) in the Rogers Cup tennis tournament at Stade IGA.

Stephens lost just four games and struck 18 winners on her way to a 6-2 6-2 victory in just 69 minutes. Making the finals here is incredible.

"I've been playing well, consistent and that's great", said Stephens. "I pushed her. on her backhand; then I could just receive a shorter ball, an easier ball for me to open the court", the world No. 1 was quoted as saying on the WTA's Web site.

The French Open champion showed no signs of fatigue following her marathon three-set win over Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova on Wednesday, running down balls to extend points and wear down the slower Garcia. "Yeah, it's disappointing, but I think this will help me moving forward, getting ready to go into [Cincinnati] and the U.S. Open". Stephens fought off three match points for one last service break before Halep closed it out.

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