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!