WTA Toronto: A match of brutal rallies, Halep edges Kerber to reach the quarter-finals

Halep

This was a fun one… In a ding dong battle on Centre Court, Simona Halep edged Angelique Kerber in three gruelling sets, 6-3 5-7 6-4 to move into the quarter-finals of the Rogers Cup. There were some brutal rallies in this match and both players were clearly struggling, especially Kerber. It had begun pretty routinely for Halep; while there were plenty of breaks of serve in the first set, five in nine games, Halep was the much sharper and fresher player, hitting down-the-line and moving a sluggish Kerber around the court effectively.

It looked like this match could be wrapped up pretty quickly with Kerber clearly fatigued playing her sixth match in seven days and having come from Stanford last week where she won the title. The German player battled admirably though in the second set; she eeked out a 5-2 lead after a lengthy service game and then when Halep mounted a fightback with three straight games, Kerber upped the aggression to win the last two and force a decider.

Kerber’s legs looked gone in the third set and there was barely anything on her serve. It’s really inspiring though to see her battling and just fighting for every point as she never threw in the towel. This was not a vintage Halep performance as she struggled to put away a fatigued opponent. However, when you look at her results and the recent woes she has had, a win is a win and you could see how much it meant to her at the end. A tough match like this will have done Simona’s confidence the world of good.

So many great matches this year have featured Kerber and it’s not a coincidence she’s ALWAYS in my top 20 countdowns at the end of the year. Kerber’s match with Sharapova at Wimbledon was my favourite of 2014.

To name a few for 2015…. Kerber-Sharapova (Stuttgart), Kerber-Muguruza (Wimbledon), Kerber-Radwanska (Stanford), Kerber-Pliskova (Birmingham), Kerber-Gavrilova (Sydney), Kerber-Keys (Charleston), Kerber-Wozniacki (Stuttgart) and now Kerber-Halep (Toronto)… they’ve all been great matches and will be under consideration for my top 20 list at the end of the year! The first two are probably my top two of the year so far. Kerber’s looking good for the US Open despite the loss. I think the faster conditions at Flushing Meadows will suit her (compared to Toronto) and she can’t meet Garbiñe Muguruza in the third round! The rest will be most welcome ahead of Cincy which starts next Monday. In case you missed it, Kerber’s second round match in Canada produced this wonderfulllllll GIF from WTA Reactions. I’m still laughing…

*UPDATE TO ORIGINAL POST*

Halep will play Agnieszka Radwanka in the quarters who won the last four games to beat Alizé Cornet in another entertaining match. I was really impressed with how Aga closed out the match with some positive play. She got some help from Cornet as well. This should be another good one… i’ve been terrible this week with the predictions. It’s got to that point where i’m overthinking everything. I was impressed with how Radwanska closed out Cornet but Halep’s confidence is rising and she’s won three of their last four matches… wefijofewjiewijerwijeri I don’t know! Simona in three? Please come at me with your thoughts on this one!

17 thoughts on “WTA Toronto: A match of brutal rallies, Halep edges Kerber to reach the quarter-finals

  1. I think this will be interesting, and we will see if Aga is hungry enough to put up a full fight. She didn’t put up much resistance in the finals in Singapore last year. Halep seems to have regained her lost form, and I agree with BR she is mentally tougher. Radwanska is the more talented player. I hope she can make use of it, and not get impatient.

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  2. I do have to say, the scheduling of matches was not the great at the Rogers Cup; Kerber played first at the night session on wednesday (got off court around 7:30 pm). Aga played the last match of the night session and got off court at 10:30 pm. Both Halep and Cornet played in the same time slot in today matches, as they played in, on wednesday afternoon. A distinct advantage to the younger opponents.

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  3. Halep will win for sure in 2 easy sets, a polish wta player can’t stand against a romanian wta player. Romania is a country with 12.5 millions population but 8 players in top 100 wta.

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    • It probably should have been, but she mentally caved in after the 7th game of the second set. She also didn’t play a good or smart service game in that 7th game; which could have been the deciding game for her to take it in straight sets. Poor performance from Aga from that point on – disappointing is all I can say. I do wish her coach would come down on the court. I am not a fan of on court coaching – but it is available (and someone needs the boost), and from just this year alone – she lets the third sets go, like this; way too easily. It’s his player and he should be able to tell by her demeanour. I could… I expected her to loose the last set a love to be honest.

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  4. LOL at the Kerber facepalm!

    I sort of want an Ivanovic Halep final. We haven’t seen them play this year and it’s a pretty fun match up. ..

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      • I’m still not convinced that she’s in this for the win. I think this week is basically a practice week for her and she’ll withdraw before the end of it.
        If Ivanovic has a good win against Bencic I think she’d be well up for taking on Serena.

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      • Ivanovic-Bencic is an interesting one. I’m leaning towards Ana but Belinda’s doing really well right now. Ana had some great matches with Serena last year but i’m not sure she’s at the same level as last year. I know what you mean about Serena but right now i’d be more inclined to say Serena will win Toronto (particularly with this draw), play 1 or 2 matches at Cincy and then pull out.

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      • I think it could go 3 sets with Bencic. But BB has had a tough week full of long matches full of momentum swings, and that’s got to catch up with her at some point. The other factor here would be that Ana is one of the most aggressive returners there is. Only Serena Williams is harsher on a second serve.
        I reserve judgement on a Serena vs Ana semi until they both play their quarter’s. It may not even happen.

        Do you think Halep vs Serena then?

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      • Ana thrashed Belinda the last time they played and I get the sense it could be a decent match up for her (agree with the return). Still, i’m really impressed with how Belinda has come on the past few months and would not be surprised at all if she won that. I’d say Serena-Simona but don’t feel that confident about it!

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      • I’m thrilled for Bencic too. She could well be a Grand Slam contender next year at the rate she’s coming on. You can see her shots getting more powerful and purposeful as she gets older.

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  5. Im leaning towards Radwanska; she’s had a few good matches under her belt, and if she is able to play at her best, Simona just might get stuck in the web that Radwanska is so adept at weaving. Radwanska in 3.

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