By Ros Satar

  • Simona Halep [5] 7-6(2) 6-3 Keys
  • Wins her 14th career title after reaching back to back Rogers Cup finals
  • Rises to World No. 3
MONTREAL, CANADA – Simona Halep won her 14th career title after defeating Madison Keys in straight sets, 7-6(2) 6-3.

 

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From solid serving throughout the tournament, rapid fire rallies in her semi-final to perhaps a bit of a war of attrition just about sums up Halep’s path to her latest title. Her first two rounds had been pretty commanding, with some exceptional serving and poise.

It unravelled at the hands of Svetlana Kuznetsova in the quarter-finals as Halep struggled for most of the first set to get on board with the Russian, before finally getting a toe-hold in the match to level, before sweeping past Kuznetsova.

After starting very strongly against an error-strewn Angelique Kerber, the German fought back to push Halep around, and causing her to come back from a break down in the decider.

The final could best be described as ‘edgy’ – starting with a couple of breaks before Halep edged ahead. Four more successive breaks pushed the pear to a tie-break.

But by now the pattern was becoming clear as Keys’ errors racked up giving the Romanian the edge in the tie-break, before she put the pedal to the metal in the second set to swiftly build up a 3-0 lead. If the first set had been a battle to see who could hold serve (or not), the second set did seem a little more stable after Halep’s initial break, but the errors told.

In a way it was sadly fitting that it would be another forehand, seemingly being drawn towards a magnetic net would give Halep her 14th title.

Keys would have to admit – this was not her finest moment, in her first hard court final. For Halep though, she buried the memories of her retirement in Toronto last year and without the Olympics to worry about, she has plenty of time to sharpen up for the Premier event in Cincinnati, before the US Open.

On court (as reported by WTATennis.com), Halep said: “First of all thank you guys for coming. I feel like home with all the Romanians and also you Canadians. Congratulations to Madison for a great week and I wish you the best for the future.”

“I want to say thank you to my team. Thank you for supporting me, I know it’s not always easy. This week has been a marathon.”

Halep certainly has got her tennis in – she will come back to contest the doubles final with compatriot Monica Niculescu.

The Western & Southern Open takes place between 14-21 August.

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