Simona Halep wins 3rd National Bank title

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TORONTO — Simona Halep of Romania won her third National Bank Open title, beating Beatriz Haddad Maia of Brazil 6-3, 2-6, 6-3.

The 30-year-old Halep, also the 2016 and 2018 winner in Montreal, won her 24th WTA Tour and first since switching to Patrick Mouratoglou as her coach.

“It’s tough to compare,” Halep said about the three victories. “I’m a different person. I’ve changed so much. But the happiness of winning a title is the same. This tournament is a pretty big tournament, it’s a great tournament.

“It’s a great victory, in my opinion. I really take it with both hands. It gives me an extra boost to believe that there is more to come.”

Halep admitted earlier this season that she was considering retiring from professional tennis in 2021 after falling out of the top 10.

“When I started the year I was not very confident and I set the goal to be, at the end of the year, top 10. And here I am,” said Halep, who will jump to No. 6 on Monday. “So, it’s a very special moment. I will enjoy it. I will give myself credit. I’m just dreaming for more.”

The 26-year-old Haddad Maia played her first WTA Masters event final. In June, she won consecutive grass-court events in Nottingham and Birmingham in England for her first two tour titles.

“I think we are improving a lot every single day,” Haddad Maia said. “Not even in the matches, but, outside of the tour, when we are practicing. We are taking care of my body. We are doing good things.”

She beat top-ranked Iga Swiatek in the round of 16.

Later, Coco Gauff took the top spot in the doubles rankings when she teamed with fellow American Jessica Pegula to beat Nicole Melichar-Martinez and Ellen Pere 6-4, 6-7 (5), 10-5 in the final.

The 18-year-old Gauff and Pegula won their second title as a team. Gauff and Pegula were the runners-up at the French Open in June, when Gauff also reached her first singles Grand Slam final before losing to Swiatek.

Giron cruises in 3rd set, beats Rybakov at Dallas Open

2023 Australian Open - Day 1
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DALLAS – Marcos Giron advanced to the second round of the Dallas Open with a 6-4, 6-7 (1), 6-1 victory over Alex Rybakov on Tuesday.

The seventh-seeded Giron, who reached the semifinals of the inaugural event a year ago, responded quickly after failing to close out the second set, winning the first five games of the deciding set.

Rybakov broke his fellow American when Giron was serving for the match in the second set. Then Rybakov won the first six points of the second-set tiebreaker.

“I’m really happy with how I was able to reset in the third and just get back to the game plan from the beginning and elevate,” Giron said. “He played well and served well and kind of hung in there.”

Eighth-seeded Adrian Mannarino of France won the final five points of a first-set tiebreaker and the last four games of the second to beat American Steve Johnson 7-6 (6), 6-2.

J.J. Wolf, the No. 6 seed, had little trouble in a 6-3, 6-3 victory over fellow American Brandon Holt.

John Isner, the fifth seed and unofficial tournament host in his hometown event, played later Tuesday. Like Giron, Isner lost in the semifinals last year.

Sock wins at Dallas Open, set to face top-seeded Fritz

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DALLAS – Wild-card entry Jack Sock opened with a 7-6 (2), 4-6, 6-4 victory over Ilya Ivashka at the Dallas Open, setting up a second-round meeting with top-seeded fellow American Taylor Fritz.

Sock broke Ivashka’s serve in the final game to win the match. Ivashka fell behind 2-0 to start the final set but broke Sock to get back on serve.

Down a break early in the second set, Ivashka rallied to force the deciding set after Sock cruised in the first-set tiebreaker.

The eighth-ranked Fritz is back for the second Dallas Open after losing in the semifinals as the top seed in the inaugural edition of the indoor hard-court event last year. Defending champion Reilly Opelka isn’t in the field.