Simona Halep wins 3rd National Bank title

simona halep
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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.

Top-seeded Sakkari reaches semifinals at Parma Ladies Open

Maria Sakkari
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PARMA, Italy — Top-seeded Maria Sakkari rallied past 97th-ranked Maryna Zanevska 2-6, 6-4, 6-4 on Thursday at the Parma Ladies Open to reach her first semifinal since the grass-court season.

Sakkari, who has gone three sets in all three of her matches this week, will face Danka Kovinic for a spot in the final of the clay-court event after Kovinic beat Jasmine Paolini 6-4, 6-4.

In her previous semifinal, Sakkari lost to Belinda Bencic in Berlin in June. The seventh-ranked Greek player was eliminated by Wang Xiyu in the second round of the U.S. Open on Aug. 31.

In the bottom half of the draw, Mayar Sherif of Egypt beat American opponent Lauren Davis 7-6 (2), 6-3 to reach her second career semifinal. Sherif next faces Ana Bogdan, who defeated fellow Romanian Irina-Camelia Begu 6-2, 7-6 (6).

Sakkari through to Parma Open quarterfinals; Stephens loses

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PARMA, Italy — Top-seeded Maria Sakkari rallied past Arantxa Rus 3-6, 6-2, 6-3 to reach the quarterfinals of the Parma Ladies Open.

Sakkari, who accepted a late wild card to the red clay court tournament, was playing her first event since losing to Wang Xiyu in the second round of the U.S. Open.

The Greek player will next face Maryna Zanevska of Belgium after she eased past Dalma Galfi 6-1, 6-3.

Fourth-seeded Sloane Stephens of the United States, the 2017 U.S. Open champion, lost to Danka Kovinic 7-5, 2-6, 7-5.

Kovinic will face Jasmine Paolini in the quarterfinals after the Italian defeated compatriot Elisabetta Cocciaretto 4-6, 6-3, 6-4.

There will be an American in the final eight, however, as Lauren Davis rallied to beat Sara Sorribes Tormo 3-6, 6-4, 7-5. Sorribes Tormo had eliminated second-seeded Martina Trevisan in straight sets in the opening round.

Davis will play Mayar Sherif after the Egyptian player defeated Simona Waltert 6-3, 7-6 (1).

Also, third-seeded Irina-Camelia Begu of Romania eased past Italian wild card Matilde Paoletti 6-4, 6-4 to set up a quarterfinal against sixth-seeded Ana Bogdan, who beat Anna Karolina Schmiedlova 6-2, 3-6, 6-3.