Halep, Stephens advance to Rogers Cup final

Ashleigh Barty Montreal 2018

"I think I talked enough about it", she said.

Spaniard Carolina Garcia, the No.6 seed, was combative in the first set before Halep secured a crucial break to win the opener 7-5. Stephens, preparing for her US Open title defense, is 0-8 against No. 1-ranked players.

"My opponent has already six hours at the hotel resting, and I just finished the match and I'm doing now these (interviews)", Halep said at 9 p.m. local time (0100 GMT).

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.

Her latest win means she has claimed eight of her last nine matches on hard courts, though making her third final of the season appears daunting.

"Obviously I'm sad I lost, but losing to the number one player isn't too bad".

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"I think I played smart tennis today", Halep said. "I hope in the future it's going to be better".

A large Romanian contingent waving their red, blue and yellow flags chanted Halep's name between points. She seems to have acquired this virtue in her favor from her first round match with Magdalena Rybarikova when she was down a set and crawled back point by point to win two straight sets and win the match.

A back-and-forth opening set saw Halep jump to a 4-1 lead before Stephens found the range with her forehand and broke service three times to take a 6-5 lead.

Stephens led throughout the second set, breaking Halep twice, but the Romanian took control of the third set, turning a break into a 5-2 advantage. It was the first set Stephens lost all week.

Halep played four matches in three days after a night session was postponed because of rain.

"I hit some dropshots, which I don't normally do, because I was too exhausted", said Halep, who has reached at least the semifinals in four straight Rogers Cups. "It's maybe the best place because so many people are so nice with me".

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