Halep beats Stephens to win in Montreal

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

Stephens, preparing for her U.S. Open title defense, beat fifth-seeded Elina Svitolina 6-3, 6-3.

"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).

The Frenchwoman might have thought she was at a practice session with her team as she took on Maria Sharapova at the Rogers Cup third round, playing a feisty game with smooth, basic strategies to win over the Russian 6-3, 6-2.

"I thought I played well, I thought she played well", said Stephens. In a final, you hope for matches like that, super competitive, high energy.

"I feel like I reached my best level of tennis, even if I had a long break before this tournament and I felt dead after the first day". But the American broke Halep with a forehand victor and held two set points on the Romanian's serve at 6-5. However, there were just as many pulling for Stephens in a match of two players who don't overpower with their serve but hammer groundstrokes down the lines.

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. 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.

Stephens added three more breaks to take the second set, but lost her serve to open the third.

The second set went much quicker with Halep winning seven of the last eight games. Stephens fought off three match points for one last service break before Halep closed out.

Barty, the world No. 16, has eclipsed her previous best at the tournament, a place in the last 16 when it was held in Toronto a year ago.

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