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Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 21 August 2018

Simona Halep 'upset', weary and aching after reaching Rogers Cup final

Romanian will play for title on Sunday against Sloane Stephens in rematch of French Open final

World No 1 Simona Halep reached her third straight Rogers Cup final. AFP
World No 1 Simona Halep reached her third straight Rogers Cup final. AFP

A weary Simona Halep, upset over how her matches are scheduled, beat Ashleigh Barty 6-4, 6-1 on Saturday to reach the final Rogers Cup final.

The top-ranked Romanian will play for the title on Sunday against the third-ranked Sloane Stephens in a rematch of Halep's victory in the French Open final.

Stephens, preparing for her US Open title defence, beat fifth-seeded Elina Svitolina 6-3, 6-3.

Halep reached the Rogers Cup final for the third time in four years. She won the last time it was in Montreal in 2016.

Halep complained on Friday about playing the first semi-final day after two straight night matches. She contended she has the worst schedule in the 56-player event and "this happens almost every tournament".

Despite playing on only 15 hours rest, Halep was in control from the outset against the 15th-seeded Barty, eliminating the Australian in 71 minutes.

"I was very sore when I woke up," Halep said. "During the match, it's not easy to run so much. But, you know, I just tried to focus on what I have to play and, to make it a little bit easier, which I did in the end, was to finish it early."

Halep played four matches in three days after a night session was postponed because of rain.

Sloane Stephens is in good form as she prepares for her US Open title defence. AP Photo
Sloane Stephens is in good form as she prepares for her US Open title defence. AP Photo

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"I think I talked enough about it," she said. "I hope in the future it's going to be better. I was upset. I am upset. But doesn't change my performance on court."

The Romanian broke Barty in the opening game and broke again for a 4-1 lead en route to taking the first set. Halap broke twice more to open the second set.

"I think I played smart tennis today," Halep said. "I pushed her very back on her backhand, then I could just receive a shorter ball, an easier ball for me to open the court."

Halep is 6-2 against Stephens, winning the last five matches.

"We played a good match," Stephens said about the French Open final. "I played very well for a set and a half.

"Hopefully, I'll play very well for two sets. Just try to play as well as I can. I'm playing good tennis. She's playing good tennis.

"Obviously, to make a final of another tournament is incredible."

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