Getty Images

Simona Halep wins second Rogers Cup title

Leave a comment

MONTREAL (AP) Top-ranked Simona Halep outlasted third-ranked Sloane Stephens 7-6 (6), 3-6, 6-4 on Sunday to win her second Rogers Cup title.

The 26-year-old Romanian star also won the hard-court event that rotates between Toronto and Montreal in 2016 in Montreal.

In a rematch of Halep’s French Open final victory, she overcame Stephens in the match that had 15 service breaks. Halep has won her last six meetings with the 25-year-old American. Stephens, preparing for her U.S. Open title defense, is 0-8 against No. 1-ranked players.

Halep won her third title of the year and 18th overall.

A large Romanian contingent waving their red and yellow flags chanted Halep’s name between points. However, there were just as many pulling for Stephens in a match of two players who don’t overpower with their serve but hammer groundstrokes down the lines.

A back-and-forth opening set saw Halep jump to a 4-1 lead before Stephens found the range with her forehand and broke service three times to take a 6-5 lead. The American then wasted two set points as Halep forced a tiebreaker.

Stephens went up on two Halep double faults, but the Romanian stormed back to take the set. It was the first set Stephens lost all week.

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

She broke back for 2-2, but then suffered a letdown as Halep broke service twice more to take the lead. Stephens fought off three match points for one last service break before Halep closed it out.

Bencic beats 2-time defending champ Svitolina in Dubai semi

AP Images
Leave a comment

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP) Unseeded Belinda Bencic stopped Elina Svitolina’s bid for a third consecutive title at the Dubai Championships by beating her 6-2, 3-6, 7-6 (3) in the semifinals Friday.

The 45th-ranked Bencic won her third match in a row against a top-10 opponent and will face yet another, two-time Wimbledon champion Petra Kvitova, in Saturday’s final at the hard-court tournament.

Kvitova advanced to her third final of 2019 by edging Hsieh Su-wei 3-6, 6-2, 6-4. The No. 2-seeded Kvitova picked up her tour-high 17th victory of 2019.

Bencic is seeking her third career title, Kvitova her 27th.

Against No. 6 seed Svitolina, Bencic trailed 5-3 in the third set. This was her latest in a string of comebacks. She saved six match points against eighth-seeded Aryna Sabalenka in the third round, then erased a set deficit to beat third-seeded Simona Halep in the quarterfinals.

More AP tennis: https://apnews.com/apf-Tennis and https://twitter.com/AP-Sports

Bencic upsets Halep to reach Dubai semifinals

AP Images
Leave a comment

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP) Unseeded Belinda Bencic rallied to beat second-ranked Simona Halep 4-6, 6-4, 6-2 Thursday to reach the Dubai Championships semifinals.

Bencic, who saved six match points in the previous round against Aryna Sabalenka, failed to capitalize on an early break in the first set but Halep continued to struggle with her serve and was broken seven times in total. Bencic broke for a 5-4 lead in the second and then raced out to a 3-0 lead in the decider, having won six games in a row. Halep, who was playing her ninth match in 13 days after reaching the final in Qatar last week, got one break back but Bencic broke again for a 5-2 lead before converting her third match point.

Second-seeded Petra Kvitova had no such problems, winning the last eight games to oust Viktoria Kuzmova 6-4, 6-0 to book her spot in the last four. Kvitova, the 2013 Dubai champion, needed just 62 minutes to wrap up the win. She will next face Su-wei Hsieh of Taiwan, who came from 5-1 down in the final set to beat fourth-seeded Karolina Pliskova 6-4, 1-6, 7-5. It was the latest upset for Hsieh, who ousted Wimbledon champion Angelique Kerber on Wednesday.

In the final quarterfinal, Carla Suarez Navarro of Spain was playing Elina Svitolina of Ukraine.

More AP tennis: https://apnews.com/apf-Tennis and https://twitter.com/AP-Sports