World number one Simona Halep romps past Ashleigh Barty into Montreal final

Halep, who will now face either US Open winner Sloane Stephens or defending champion Elina Svitolina in Sunday's final, was in control from the outset against a nervous-looking Barty.

Published: 12th August 2018 03:59 AM  |   Last Updated: 12th August 2018 03:59 AM   |  A+A-

Simona Halep of Romania celebrates a point over Ashleigh Barty of Australia during semifinals play at the Rogers Cup tennis tournament Saturday, Aug. 11, 2018 in Montreal. | AP

By AFP

MONTREAL: World number one Simona Halep powered into the final of the WTA Canada hardcourt tournament Saturday, cruising past Australia's Ashleigh Barty 6-4, 6-1.

Halep, who will now face either US Open winner Sloane Stephens or defending champion Elina Svitolina in Sunday's final, was in control from the outset against a nervous-looking Barty, whose challenge was undone by a string of unforced errors.

Barty was in trouble on her opening service game, an error giving French Open champion Halep a break point which she duly converted with a superb backhand crosscourt winner. 

The next three games went with serve to leave Halep 3-1 up and the 26-year-old then bagged her second break in the fifth game when another Barty error let Halep off the hook to take the game to deuce. 

A sensational backhand winner down the line gave Halep a break point and when Barty limply returned into the net on the next exchange she found herself 4-1 down. 

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.

Halep went for the jugular in the second set, opening with two quick breaks to take a 3-0 lead. Barty offered a flicker of resistance in the fourth game after earning three break points to go to 0-40. 

But once again Halep's experience came to the fore and she fought back to deuce and saved another break point before holding for 4-0.

Both players then held before Halep soon took three match points at 0-40 in the seventh game. 

Barty fought back to deuce to delay the inevitable before but Halep secured another break to reach her third Canadian final in four years.

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