Simona Halep won her third WTA title of 2016, beating Madison Keys, 7-6(2) 6-3 in Sunday's final at the Rogers Cup in Montreal. After winning the International tournament in Bucharest two weeks ago, Halep is now on a ten match winning streak.
Both players struggled to find their A-game in a messy opening set. There were eight breaks of serve with the set going to the tiebreak. Similar to their last encounter at Wimbledon, Halep twice failed to serve out the first set as she was broken to love on both occasions.
The match took a different turn this time round as Halep won the first set tiebreak, seven points to two. Every point in the tiebreak was decided on an error with the pair combining for 15 winners to 42 unforced errors in a scrappy opener.
Things didn't get much better at the start of the second set as Keys dropped her serve with two poor errors; a forehand miss from a very promising position and a volley into the net. The quality picked up a tad from here on as Keys settled on serve to hold to 1-3 in the second set, snapping a run of three straight breaks on her serve. There was potential for a change in momentum but Halep didn't allow that, playing a pair of confident service games to inch closer to the title.
Serving for the Championship, Halep quickly went down *0-30; with some help from Keys and her frequently misfiring forehand, Halep won the final four points to win the Rogers Cup for the first time in her career. The stats don't cover this match in glory; Halep finished with four winners to 17 unforced errors, while Keys ended with 22 winners to 45 unforced errors.
This was a superb week for Halep who secured wins over Daria Gavrilova (#45), Karolina Pliskova (#17), Svetlana Kuznetsova (#11), Angelique Kerber (#2) and Keys (#12). The Romanian player is set to return to number three in the world rankings next week as Toronto points (where Halep reached the final in 2015) have yet to come off the ranking. Halep also teams up with Monica Niculescu in the women's doubles final later today. Halep, who has opted to skip the Olympics, will next be in action at the Western & Southern Open in Cincinnati.
While the final didn't quite live up to expectation in terms of the quality of tennis on show, it was another fantastic week in Montreal. It was wonderful to see such great crowds in Montreal from the first round and their appreciation for women's tennis.
Post written by James of Moo's Tennis Blog
Photo in this post by Jimmie48 Tennis Photography