Simona Halep beats Haddad Maia for third Canadian Open title

Sunday, Simona Halep won her third Canadian Open title with a hard-fought 6-3 2-6 6-3 victory that halted Beatriz Haddad Maia’s dream run in Toronto.

Halep’s serving difficulties from her semifinal victory carried over into the final, where she committed four double faults, was broken in the opening game, and fell behind 3-0 in a hurry.

The Romanian responded by altering her strategy, luring the Brazilian into longer rallies to take six games in a row, and she won the first set with a forehand winner, pumping her fist as the cheering audience erupted in appreciation.

Haddad Maia dominated the second set but struggled in the third, hitting a forehand wide and handing Halep a 4-1 lead that she would not lose.

Under beautiful conditions in the Canadian capital, the two-time Grand Slam champion won her ninth WTA 1000 title when Haddad Maia’s serve return found the net on match point.

“At the start it was really tough,” Halep told reporters.

“She’s lefty, so it’s coming different, the spin. She’s very powerful. She’s solid. And it’s never easy to play against her.”

“I’ve been many years there but now I feel like it’s a big deal to be back in top 10. I’m really happy with this performance,” she said.

“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. So it’s very special moment. I will enjoy it. I will give myself credit. I’m just dreaming for more.”

With the win, the former world number one will re-enter the top 10 next week at number six.

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