World No. 1 Simona Halep and Sloane Stephens are developing into the rivalry on the WTA tour.
After Halep squeaked-out a come-from-behind victory in the French Open final a couple months ago, the Romanian on Sunday in Montreal again proved her mettle, beating Stephens 7-6(6), 3-6, 6-4 to win the Rogers Cup title.
“This week, it’s been an amazing effort,” said Halep after claiming her third title of the year. “It’s brutal, the effort for me. This week it was really tough.”
Stephens failed to close on any of four set points in the first set. In the third set Stephens fought back from 2-5 down before Halep was able to shut the door.
“I feel like, okay, I had a big holiday after French Open, but my game is still there, and also the desire to win, which makes me happy and makes me to relax more,” Halep said. “It’s not away. I will keep working. I will keep doing the same thing. Hopefully I will have many more.”
Stephens was dealt a mental blow in the third when she was broken after leading 40-love, with Halep going up 3-2 and winning the next two games. Halep eventually hit an ace on her fourth match point to clinch it.
Halep improved to 18-14 in career finals while Stephens dropped to 6-2 and 1-2 in 2018.
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