'She makes me play better and better' - Halep lauds rivalry with Stephens

Sloane Stephens reaches Rogers Cup semifinals

A nervy world No.18 committed 31 unforced errors in blustery conditions as Barty broke Berten's serve four times.

Simona Halep powered into the final of the Rogers Cup in Montreal where she will play US Open victor Sloane Stephens or defending champion Elina Svitolina in the final.

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

The fluidness and lovely shot making Garcia showed in the Sharapova match was almost invisible when she played the no. 1 Simona Halep. there was a gleamer of brilliant strategies at the beginning of the match when Garcia went up 3-2 and the commentator even remarked that "You can begin to feel that the Garcia momentum is building".

But she then cruised to a two-set victory over Ashleigh Barty in the semifinals and then outlasted Stephens in a thriller that lasted two hours 41 minutes.

Romanian Halep, who had beaten Stephens in Paris in June, claimed her second Montreal title in three years and third for the 2018 season.

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"I think I talked enough about it", she said. A year ago, the American was playing Toronto ranked No.934 in the world, and another runner-up finish to the world's top ranked player kicks off her US Open title defense in encouraging fashion.

"I think I played smart tennis today".

But this was going Halep's way as she lead 6-5 and not for long won the first set 7-5.

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. 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.

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 love to play in Canada", she said.

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