Simona Halep beat Coco Gauff 6-4, 7-6(2) to reach the semi-finals of the Canadian Open in Toronto.
The straight sets victory was Halep’s fourth in a row, meaning that she is yet to drop a set in this tournament and sits at a perfect 8-0.
Romanian world No. 15 Halep remains unbeaten in her career against Gauff, having won all four of their professional clashes.
Gauff had already played two epic three set matches this week, and looked fatigued during a match in which she had opportunities to win. Each of those wins earlier in the week had lasted over two hours and 45 minutes.
Halep’s biggest advantage was her ability to hang around and extend games. The Romanian saved 11 break points through the match, helping to sap the already low energy of her American rival.
Halep was humble and full of compliments for her vanquished opponent, saying: “I struggled with my service right to the end.
“She’s always tough to face and it was a great match. It was really very complicated to come back, she has really progressed in her service and she’s very powerful. I really had to concentrate on every point.”
She even corrected the on-court interviewer, who claimed that Gauff’s serve reached 196km/h during the match, saying “actually it was 198”, prompting laughter and a round of applause from the packed crowd.
Despite racking up eight double-faults through the match, Halep did have an edge with her serve. Winning 13% more of her first serve point, Halep had Gauff on the back foot throughout.
The win gave Halep – who entered the tournament as the 15th seed – her 29th career WTA 1000 semifinal berth.
2⃣9⃣th WTA 1000 semifinal ?
— wta (@WTA) August 12, 2022
Halep who is enjoying a stellar year with a record of 36 wins and just 10 losses, will face the winner of Jessica Pegula and Yulia Putintseva.
The Romanian is a two-time champion of this event, having won in 2016 and 2018.
Despite her history in this tournament, Gauff was the clear sentimental favourite. The crowd broke out numerous times into cheers of “Let’s go Coco!”
For Gauff, this will be a disappointing result and the American is still looking for her first title of 2022. The world No. 11 suffers her second consecutive quarter-final defeat, having exited at the same stage in the Washington Open last week.