Halep Overcomes Gauff, Will Face Pegula In Toronto Masters SF
After consecutive final set breaker wins by Coco Gauff, the teen’s luck ran out Friday as former champion Simona Halep took the American down 6-4, 7-6(2). Halep lead 6-4, 4-1 before Gauff roared back and nearly extended the match to a third.
Halep goes to 4-0 against Gauff but was impressed with the youngster’s improvements.
“She’s a bit stronger. She hits stronger. And the serve was much stronger today. Backhand is always hard,” Halep said. “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.”
Into her fifth semifinal in Canada, the 2-time champion will face another American in nearby Buffalo native Jessica Pegula who cruised past Yulia Putintseva 6-3, 6-3. Pegula is the lone Top 10 seed remaining.
Upset queen Beatrice Haddad Maia kept rolling stunning 2015 champion Belinda Bencic from a set down 2-6, 6-3, 6-3. The Brazilian will now challenge defending finalist Karolina Pliskova who rallied to beat teen Qinwen Zheng 4-6, 6-4, 6-4. Zheng won six of seven games from 3-0 down in the first, then broke Pliskova in the third to avoid dropping the match. But Pliskova broke to seal it.
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