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Simona Halep sweeps past Ashleigh Barty to reach Rogers Cup final

Simona Halep sweeps past Ashleigh Barty to reach Rogers Cup final

Barty dominated the nervous world No.18, who made 31 unforced errors, to close out the quarter-final 6-3 6-1 in just 55 minutes.

The 26-year-old also won when the event was last held in Montreal in 2016.

"I think the match was a very good level of tennis even if the rhythm was a little bit mixed".

In Saturday's second semi-final, defending champion Elina Svitolina, the number five seed, suffered a straight-sets defeat to reigning US Open champion Sloane Stephens.

"I feel like today (Friday) I should have played second match in the night, and also tomorrow (Saturday) at 6 (p.m.), not at 1". Garcia's focus and strategies had fallen and it wasn't long before Halep showed her no. 1 status leading to her quarterfinal win over Garcia of 7-5, 6-1.

The Frenchwoman might have thought she was at a practice session with her team as she took on Maria Sharapova at the Rogers Cup third round, playing a feisty game with smooth, basic strategies to win over the Russian 6-3, 6-2.

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But she then cruised to a two-set victory over Ashleigh Barty in the semifinals and then outlasted Stephens in a thriller that lasted two hours 41 minutes.

The number three seed progressed to her third final of 2018, which will be a re-match of her French Open clash with Halep in June. I thought she played well. It's obviously upsetting that I didn't win, but I think I got better than the last final we played. "Just going to kind of take it all in, realize I did a good job this week, and I can be proud of myself for that".

Stephens added three more breaks to take the second set, but lost her serve to open the third.

Halep fended off four set points to claim a back-and-forth first set in a tiebreak after storming to a 4-1 lead before U.S. Open champion Stephens fought back to level.

Barty, the world No. 16, has eclipsed her previous best at the tournament, a place in the last 16 when it was held in Toronto past year.