Simona Halep wins 3rd National Bank title, needs 3 sets


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TORONTO — Simona Halep of Romania won her third National Bank Open title Sunday, beating Beatriz Haddad Maia of Brazil 6-3, 2-6, 6-3.

The 30-year-old Halep, also the 2016 and 2018 winner in Montreal, won her 24th WTA Tour and first since switching to Patrick Mouratoglou as her coach.

"It's tough to compare," Halep said about the three victories. "I'm a different person. I've changed so much. But the happiness of winning a title is the same. This tournament is a pretty big tournament, it's a great tournament.

"It's a great victory, in my opinion. I really take it with both hands. It gives me an extra boost to believe that there is more to come."

Halep admitted earlier this season that she was considering retiring from professional tennis in 2021 after falling out of the top 10.

"When I started the year I was not very confident and I set the goal to be, at the end of the year, top 10. And here I am," said Halep, who will jump to No. 6 on Monday. "So, it's a very special moment. I will enjoy it. I will give myself credit. I'm just dreaming for more."

The 26-year-old Haddad Maia played her first WTA Masters event final. In June, she won consecutive grass-court events in Nottingham and Birmingham in England for her first two tour titles.

"I think we are improving a lot every single day," Haddad Maia said. "Not even in the matches, but, outside of the tour, when we are practicing. We are taking care of my body. We are doing good things."

She beat top-ranked Iga Swiatek in the round of 16.

Later, Coco Gauff took the top spot in the doubles rankings when she teamed with fellow American Jessica Pegula to beat Nicole Melichar-Martinez and Ellen Pere 6-4, 6-7 (5), 10-5 in the final.

The 18-year-old Gauff and Pegula won their second title as a team. Gauff and Pegula were the runners-up at the French Open in June, when Gauff also reached her first singles Grand Slam final before losing to Swiatek.

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