Twice former National Bank Open titlist Simona Halep reached the semi-finals of the 2022 edition in Toronto, on Friday. The former world no. 1 ousted 10th seed Coco Gauff in their quarter-final clash, 6-4, 7-6(4) in an hour and 47 minutes.
Halep won 60% of her first-serve points to Gauff’s 47%. The 15th seed did lose her serve five times across the match but converted six of the 11 break points she had on the American’s serve. Heading into the match, Halep had not lost any of her four prior matches to Gauff and after this result, the head-to-head remains as wide as ever in the Romanian’s favour at 5-0.
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Speaking after her win, Halep praised Gauff’s game. She said, “She's a bit stronger. She hits stronger. And the serve was much stronger today. Backhand is always hard.
I think she improved a lot since we played last time. It's always tough to play against her. She's fighting until the end. She doesn't give you a point, so you have to stay there and to fight”. Looking to reach the final of the tournament’s Toronto edition for the first time, Halep will now play another American, seventh seed Jessica Pegula in the semis.
Pegula beat Yulia Putintseva 6-3, 6-3 in their quarter-final match in an hour and 21 minutes. At the top of the draw, Beatriz Haddad Maia’s momentum propelled her into the semi-finals. The southpaw posted a comeback victory over 12th seed and former titlist, Belinda Bencic, 2-6, 6-3, 6-3 in two hours and 11 minutes in their quarter-final clash.
Haddad Maia won 75% of her first-serve points to the Swiss’ 64% and saved four of the seven break points she faced. She went on to convert four of the six break points she had on Bencic’s serve. Seeking to make it to her first-ever final at a WTA 1000 tournament at the National Bank Open, Haddad Maia will take on Karolina Pliskova.
The 14th-seeded Czech made a comeback of her own against Qinwen Zheng, 4-6, 6-4, 6-4 in two hours and 34 minutes. Photo Credit: Match Point Canada/ Twitter/ Images by Neena Twitter
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