Thursday, 16 August, 2018

Halep, Stephens into Montreal final

Semi-final here I come Ashleigh Barty hits a return against Kiki Bertens in her Montreal quarter-final win on Friday Barty into semi-finals on Montreal debut
Andrew Wong | 12 August, 2018, 06:22

Halep, who defeated Stephens in three sets at Roland Garros in June, earlier cruised past Australia's Ashleigh Barty 6-4, 6-1 to book her place in the final.

The 15th-seeded Barty won 80% of her first serve points and broke Bertens four times as she cruised to victory.

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.

The second set went much quicker with Halep winning seven of the last eight games.

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Fans and journalists questioned her decision to play singles and doubles with Schuurs given she's expected to come back on court for their semifinals to Nicole Melichar and Kveta Peschke; in the other semifinal Latisha Chan, keeping alive her hopes of reclaiming the World No.1 ranking from Timea Babos, and Ekaterina Makarova will face Andreja Klepac and María Jose Martínez Sánchez.

Stephens, preparing for her U.S. Open title defense, beat fifth-seeded Elina Svitolina 6-3, 6-3.

"I was very sore when I woke up", said Halep.

American third seed Stephens surged into Sunday's final against world number one Halep after overpowering Svitolina 6-3, 6-3 in the day's second semi-final.

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She had nothing to add to her scheduling dispute, which saw her play four matches in three days after a night session was postponed due to rain. "And I'm very upset about this". She won the last time it was in Montreal in 2016.

"When you're playing good matches in big tournaments like this, I don't think it's peaking too soon".

"I think I talked enough about it", she said.

Halep played systematically to her opponent's backhand, forcing Barty to use sliced defensive strokes to return the centre of the court, to have more chances to come inside the baseline and have an easier ball to attack.

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Barty grabbed a consolation break of serve to make it 4-2, but was unable to claw back another break as Halep took the first set 6-4.

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