Halep beats Stephens to win in Montreal

Semi-final here I come Ashleigh Barty hits a return against Kiki Bertens in her Montreal quarter-final win on Friday

Stephens, the world No. 3, has had a productive 2018, winning a hard-court title in Miami in March and making the French Open final, where the 25-year-old by beaten by Halep.

A tired Simona Halep, upset over how her matches are scheduled, beat Ashleigh Barty 6-4, 6-1 on Saturday to reach the final Rogers Cup final.

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

Next up for Halep is Australian Barty, who strolled to a 6-3 6-1 win over Kiki Bertens in their quarterfinal match earlier in the day.

"The Frenchwoman now will probably head to Cincinnati but she's said it well at Montreal's pre-tournament interview ".Now I just want to play matches and improve on the court.I haven't reached my goals so far and I want to be better".

Spaniard Carolina Garcia, the No.6 seed, was combative in the first set before Halep secured a crucial break to win the opener 7-5.

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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.

"It's an awesome feeling to be able to talk again at this ceremony as a victor", Halep said. "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".

"If you look at the schedule, I think I'm the only one person and player who has the worst schedule during the week", the French Open champion told the Montreal Gazette.

Many players now would start to correct their mistakes made at the first set, but Garcia's game had started to unravel fast and at 1-all she had netted more shots, missed returns and hit strokes longer than need be.

After a shaky start, Halep won three straight games to take the first set and dominated the second set behind pinpoint serving and stout defence. Stephens fought off three match points for one last service break before Halep closed out.

"I love to play in Canada", she said.

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