Simona Halep and Pablo Carreno Busta claim historic titles in Canada

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Simona Halep ended Beatriz Haddad Maia’s dream run in Toronto with a hard-fought 6-3 2-6 6-3 win to claim her third Canadian Open title on Sunday.

Halep’s woes on serve in her semi-final win continued into the start of the final as she produced four double faults and was broken in the opener before falling quickly 3-0 behind.

But the Romanian reacted by changing tactics, drawing the Brazilian into longer rallies to win six straight matches and she sealed the first set when she blasted a forehand winner, pumping her fist as the supporting crowd screamed his approval.

Haddad Maia dominated the second set but squeezed in the tiebreak, badly missing a forehand wide to give Halep a 4-1 lead she wouldn’t give up.

The two-time Grand Slam champion sealed her ninth WTA 1000 title when Haddad Maia’s return of serve found the net on match point under sunny skies in the Canadian city.

“At first it was really difficult,” Halep told reporters. “She is left-handed, so it comes different, the spin. She is very powerful. She is solid. And it’s never easy to play against her.

With the win, the former world number one will re-enter the top 10 next week at number six.

“I spent many years there, but now I feel like it’s important to be back in the top 10. I’m really happy with this performance,” she said. .
“When I started the year, I was not very confident and I set myself the goal of being, at the end of the year, in the top 10. And here I am. So it’s a very special moment. I’ll enjoy. I’ll take credit. I just dream of more.

The defeat ended an impressive run at the tournament for Haddad Maia, who toppled home favorite Leylah Fernandez, world number one Iga Swiatek and Tokyo Olympics gold medalist Belinda Bencic en route to the final.

“I think I’m getting more competitive every week and we’re working in the right way,” Haddad Maia said. “The results are there because we focus on the process.”

Haddad Maia will make his top-20 debut for the first time next week and his success has caught the eye of Brazilian soccer hero Pelé.
“How good to see the Brazilians conquering more and more in sport,” Pelé said on social media before the match.
“I want to congratulate Bia for reaching the Toronto WTA 1000 Finals, but most importantly, for the great run so far.”

Carreno Busta wins the biggest title of his career

Pablo Carreno Busta said winning the biggest title of his career at the Canadian Masters on Sunday gave him a huge boost in confidence and confidence for the rest of the season.

The unranked Spaniard beat Hubert Hurkacz 3-6 6-3 6-3 to win the ATP 1000 event in Montreal, which is part of the US Open series leading to the final Grand Slam of the year.

“Not just in the US Open Series, but in the rest of the season it’s very important,” Carreno Busta, who reached the US Open semifinals in 2017 and 2020, told reporters.

“I won 1,000 points. I won a trophy, a very important trophy. My game for the whole week was very, very high. I played really, really well from the first game against (Matteo) Berrettini until at last against Hubie.

“I think I just have to keep doing this, believe in myself, be aggressive, and for sure I will have chances to win games this season and hopefully in the next ones too.”

The 31-year-old said his long wait for a maiden Masters title hadn’t weighed on his shoulders, pointing to compatriot David Ferrer, who had a career ranking of third but won just one only Masters tournament.

“I know it’s not easy to win these kinds of titles,” said Carreno Busta. “Not everyone has a Masters 1000 in their career. For example, Ferrer was world number three and just won one. I know it’s very difficult to win. It wasn’t extra pressure to have this title. But it’s true that now I have it and I’m going to enjoy it, right?

The US Open main draw begins on August 29.

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