Halep fights off Gauff in Toronto

Published August 14, 2022
MONTREAL: Australia’s Nick Kyrgios eyes a forehand return against Hubert Hurkacz of Poland during their quarter-final at the Montreal Masters.—Reuters
MONTREAL: Australia’s Nick Kyrgios eyes a forehand return against Hubert Hurkacz of Poland during their quarter-final at the Montreal Masters.—Reuters

TORONTO: Simona Halep served twice for her match against Coco Gauff without success on Friday before finally securing a 6-4, 7-6 (7-2) quarter-final victory at the WTA Toronto Masters.

The former world number one, up a set and leading 4-1 in the second, looked headed for an easy passage into the last four. But Gauff dug in and rallied to force the second set to a tiebreak before 15th-seeded Halep finish off the 10th seed in the tiebreak to maintain her dominance over the American.

In four career meetings, Gauff has yet to take a set off Halep, who next faces another American in seventh seed Jessica Pegula — a 6-3, 6-3 winner over Kazakh Yulia Putintseva.

In other quarter-final action, Brazil’s giant-killer Beatriz Haddad Maia claimed another victim as she upset Olympic champion Belinda Bencic with a 2-6, 6-3, 6-3 comeback win. The South American, who stunned world number one Iga Swiatek in the third round, will meet former world number one Karolina Pliskova who prevailed 4-6, 6-4, 6-4 against Zheng Qinwen of China.

KYRGIOS WIN STREAK ENDED BY HURKACZ

At the ATP Montreal Masters, Nick Kyrgios’ nine-match winning streak ended in quarter-finals when eighth-seeded Pole Hubert Hurkacz blasted his way to a 7-6 (7-4), 6-7 (5-7), 6-1 victory.

Hurkacz will next face Norwegian fourth seed Caper Ruud, who strolled into the last four by sweeping aside sixth-seeded hometown favourite Felix Auger-Aliassime 6-1, 6-2.

At the bottom of the draw, Dan Evans completed a comeback to defeat American Tommy Paul 1-6, 6-3, 6-4, needing two match points to overcome Paul in two and a quarter hours.

But the chance of an all-British semi-final at this elite level fell away as Jack Draper lost 7-6 (7/4), 6-1 to Spain’s Pablo Carreno Busta after saving a pair of match points.

Published in Dawn, August 14th, 2022

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