WTA: Simona Halep defeats Beatriz Haddad Maia for Toronto title
Simona Halep saved five of nine break points and broke Brazilian opponent Beatriz Haddad Maia five times en route to winning the National Bank Open, taking Sunday’s final in Toronto 6-3, 2-6, 6-3.
The 30-year-old Romanian won the 24th singles title of her career and her first since January. She claimed the WTA 1000 title in Canada for the third time after also coming through in 2016 and 2018.
“Canada is a special place for me,” Halep told the crowd during the on-court trophy presentation. “I’ve won in Montreal two times but here, never. So today’s a special day.”
The No. 15 seed in the tournament and 15th-ranked player in the world, Halep beat Haddad Maia in two hours and 16 minutes. She didn’t lose a set until her come-from-behind semifinal victory Saturday over No. 7 seed Jessica Pegula. Halep also defeated No. 10 seed Coco Gauff in the quarterfinals during her run.
Halep overcame nine double faults Sunday by winning 35 of her 54 first-service points (64.8 percent) and making the most of her break-point opportunities.
The two-time Grand Slam winner had a challenging season. She lost in the second round of the French Open and later chalked it up to a panic attack she suffered during the match. She also had to withdraw from the Bad Homburg Open semifinals with a neck injury.
“A few months ago I was not thinking that I would be lifting this trophy today,” Halep said.
Haddad Maia played the first WTA 1000-level final of her career. She was the first woman from Brazil to advance that far at a 1000-level event. In June, she won her first two WTA singles titles at back-to-back grass-court events at Nottingham and Birmingham, United Kingdom.
The 24th-ranked player in the world was unseeded at Toronto but knocked off world No. 1 Iga Swiatek of Poland in the Round of 16 in a stunner. From there, Haddad Maia also beat Belinda Bencic of Switzerland and Karolina Pliskova of the Czech Republic, seeded 12th and 14th, respectively.
On Sunday, Haddad Maia won 28 of 46 first-service points (60.9 percent), including nine of 11 during the second set as she worked her way out to a 4-0 lead before winning it 6-2.
“Congrats Beatriz. You’ve done a great job all the week and actually during the year you’ve won some titles and so many matches,” Halep said. “Thank you for today. It was a great fight and I wish you good luck for the U.S. Open.”
–Field Level Media