Published: Sun, August 12, 2018
Sports | By Johanna Francis

Barty into semi-finals on Montreal debut

Barty into semi-finals on Montreal debut

But to do so she will have to get past defending champion Elina Svitolina after she dispatched Elise Mertens 7-5 6-3 on Friday.

"Hopefully I'll play very well for two sets". The Ukrainian even got a service break to close the gap to 5-3, but Stephens broke right back to take the set.

US Open victor Stephens will go against Halep on Sunday, having only beaten the Romanian twice in their previous eight meetings.

Top-ranked Simona Halep defeated Ashleigh Barty 6-4, 6-1 Saturday to reach the final of the women's Rogers Cup.

But playing on only 15 hours rest, Halep was in control from the outset against 15th-seeded Barty, eliminating the 22-year-old Australian in one hour 11 minutes.

Barty was in trouble on her opening service game, an error giving French Open champion Halep a break point which she duly converted with a superb backhand crosscourt victor.

The French Open champion showed no signs of fatigue following her marathon three-set win over Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova on Wednesday, running down balls to extend points and wear down the slower Garcia.

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A sensational backhand victor down the line gave Halep a break point and when Barty limply returned into the net on the next exchange she found herself 4-1 down.

Rage became extra motivation for the world No.1 who broke Barty immediately and gained a 4-1 lead using angles and depth to force the Australian far from the baseline, to react but not to counterattack.

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.

But once again Halep's experience came to the fore and she fought back to deuce and saved another break point before holding for 4-0.

She had nothing to add to her scheduling dispute, which saw her play four matches in three days after a night session was postponed due to rain.

Barty will play the Romanian for the first time after dispatching Kiki Bertens 6-3 6-1 in less than an hour to extend her flawless record over the Dutchwoman to two matches.

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