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Halep keeps Gauff under her thumb in Toronto, reaches semis

Simona Halep defeated Coco Gauff 6-4, 7-6 (2) on Friday afternoon and will play the winner of the match between American Jessica Pegula, the No 7 seed, and Kazakh Yulia Putintseva in the next round

Simona Halep Toronto 2022 Simona Halep celebrates a victory at Toronto || Zuma

Simona Halep continues to dominate rising American teenager Coco Gauff. On Friday in Toronto the No 15 seed edged past the 18-year-old, 6-4, 7-6 (2) to move into the semi-finals of the National Bank Open at the Aviva Centre in Toronto.

Halep improves to 4-0 against Gauff, and she has never lost a set against her. The Romanian improves to 36-10 on the season while Gauff, bidding to become the youngest semi-finalist in Canada since Martina Hingis in 1998, falls to 30-15.

“Coco is an amazing player and it’s always tough to play against her,” Halep told the crowd in Toronto. “Today was windy, again, and I struggled with the serve, but we fought til the end and I think we just played a great game today.”

Halep – Pegula in semi-final

Halep, ranked No 15, will American Jessica Pegula, the No 7 seed, next. She defeated Kazakh Yulia Putintseva (6-3, 6-3).

The Romanian fired 21 winners against 30 unforced errors, compared to 21 winners against 38 unforced errors for Gauff.

The American rallied late in the second set, breaking for 5-all and then again for 6-all to force a tiebreak, but could not come through against the former world No 1.

Halep hasn’t lost a set yet. Earlier in the tournament, the Halep defeated Croat lucky loser Donna Vekic (6-0, 6-2), Chinese Shuai Zhang (6-4, 6-2) and Swiss Jil Teichmann (6-2, 7-5).

It was a strong tournament for Gauff, despite Friday’s loss, with notable wins over this year’s Wimbledon champion, Elena Rybakina and Aryna Sabalenka, in three sets.

Toronto WTA 1000 semi-finals (Saturday)

  • Simona Halep (15) v. Jessica Pegula (7)
  • Karolina Pliskova (14) v. Beatriz Haddad Maria
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