Berliner Tageblatt - Halep holds off Haddad Maia to win third WTA Canadian crown

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Halep holds off Haddad Maia to win third WTA Canadian crown
Halep holds off Haddad Maia to win third WTA Canadian crown / Photo: © GETTY IMAGES NORTH AMERICA/AFP

Halep holds off Haddad Maia to win third WTA Canadian crown

Simona Halep kept control against unpredictable Beatriz Haddad Maia on Sunday, beating the Brazilian 6-3, 2-6, 6-3 to win a third WTA Masters 1000 title in Canada.

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The former world number one from Romania added the trophy in Toronto to those she captured in Montreal in 2016 and 2018.

She needed two and a quarter hours to deny the South American outsider the upset victory.

Halep brushed off nine double-faults and broke her opponent five times from 10 chances as she became the third player with at least nine WTA 1000 titles, after Serena Williams (13) and Victoria Azarenka (10).

Halep, who was playing in her ninth final at the elite level as Haddad Maia tackled her first, won her 38th match of the season.

After a year outside of the world's top-10 she is projected to rise to sixth this week with the start of the US Open approaching on August 29.

Haddad Maia, enjoying a breakout season that included grasscourt titles at Birmingham and Nottingham in June, had toppled world number one Iga Swiatek on her way to the final.

She struck first with a break on the way to a quick 3-0 lead.

But Halep, a two-time Grand Slam champion, quickly responded, winning the opening set as she spun off six straight games to claim the opener 6-3, in 50 minutes.

Haddad Maia answered in the opening game of the second set with a break, consolidating through a double break for 4-0 before Halep stopped the rot to hold for 1-4.

The Brazilian delivered a huge serve on set point three games later to square the contest at a set each.

But Halep -- cheered throughout by partisan fans chanting "Si-mo-na" -- came out ahead after they traded three breaks of serve in the final set, wrapping it up on her second match point as Haddad Maia fired a service return into the net.

Haddad Maia was the first Brazilian to reach the final of a WTA 1000 and first lefthanded finalist in Canada since Petra Kvitova in 2012.