Halep beats Er­rani to reach WTA Toronto fi­nal

The Pak Banker - - INTERNATIONAL BUSINESS/SPORTS -

Ro­ma­nian sec­ond seed Simona Halep ad­vanced to the fi­nal of the WTA Rogers Cup by de­feat­ing Italy´s Sara Er­rani 6-4, 6-4. Halep will play for her 12th ca­reer ti­tle and fourth of the year in Sun­day´s cham­pi­onship match against the win­ner of a later semi-fi­nal be­tween Swiss teen Belinda Ben­cic and world num­ber one Ser­ena Wil­liams.

Halep fell be­hind 0-2 then roared back to win the next four games, break­ing twice to seize the lead and hold­ing at love for a 4-2 edge. She held twice more to claim the first set in 43 min­utes, tak­ing ad­van­tage of 19 un­forced er­rors by Er­rani. In the sec­ond set, Halep opened by break­ing Er­rani, who then broke back only to have Halep break yet again as con­trol teetered.

Er­rani broke back again in the eighth game, Halep slam­ming her racket on the con­crete in frus­tra­tion af­ter fall­ing level at 4-4. But then Halep forced a break, re­tak­ing the lead by win­ning the ninth game when Er­rani hit a fore­hand be­yond the base­line, and the Ro­ma­nian held serve for the vic­tory, the last point com­ing when Er­rani swat­ted a back­hand long. It was the third win in four tries for Halep over Er­rani, hav­ing lost their first matchup at Mi­ami in 2013 but won last year in a Doha quar­ter-fi­nal and ear­lier this year at Stuttgart. Halep´s ear­lier ti­tles this sea­son came in Jan­uary at Shen­zhen, Fe­bru­ary at Dubai and in March at In­dian Wells. Wil­liams is in her first event since cap­tur­ing her fourth Grand Slam ti­tle in a row last month at Wim­ble­don. She will try to com­plete a cal­en­dar-year Grand Slam sweep by win­ning the US Open, which be­gins in two weeks at New York. That would give Wil­liams 22 ca­reer Grand Slam ti­tles, match­ing St­effi Graf for the Open Era record.

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