Simona Halep, tired and aching, reaches Montreal final

Paola Ditto
Agosto 14, 2018

Stephens, preparing for her US Open title defense, is 0-8 against No. 1-ranked players.

In a rematch of Halep's French Open final victory, she overcame Stephens in the match that saw 15 service breaks.

Yet Halep saved two set points, and two more in the tie-break, before eventually taking the opener after 70 punishing minutes.

Stephens appeared to be closing in on the first set in the next game, when a wild forehand from Halep - her 20th unforced error - handed her opponent two set points.

Saturday's semifinal will mark the first career meeting between Halep and Barty. I thought she played well.

Svitolina, now owning a 21-5 record on hard courts this year, just two behind tour leader, Halep, maintained an unbeaten run in her first three tour semifinals this year, going on to win the title at Brisbane, Dubai and Rome.

Halep broke the third-seeded Stephens with a crosscourt victor to take a 5-4 lead and serve for the set.

"It was really tricky conditions.and we were both struggling a little", Barty said in her on-court interview.

Halep, quoted on the WTA website, added: "I just want to give my best tomorrow and to enjoy the final because it's a great thing after a long break to play final at a big tournament".

"I think I got better today". But by the second change of ends, Halep rallied back to even the tiebreak, 6-6, and held another two set points from Stephens.

American Sloane Stephens faced little resistance in her 6-2 6-2 win over Latvia's Anastasija Sevastova in a match that took a little over an hour to complete.

Halep and Stephens went back-and-forth again in the third set; as each held and broke serve once to split the set's first four games.

Both players broke serve in the first three games of the second set, which gave Stephens a 2-1 lead.

Halep was not to be denied however, thumping down an ace to seal a memorable win on her next service game.

Stephens refused to go quietly though, saving a match point before breaking for 5-3, and then saving two more match points to hold. Stephens fought off three match points for one last service break before Halep closed out. "It's maybe the best place because so many people are so nice with me".

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