Toronto - Swiss teen Belinda Bencic outlasted Simona Halep to win Sunday's WTA
Rogers Cup final when the Romanian second seed retired trailing 7-6
(7/5), 6-7 (4/7), 3-0.
Bencic, who upset world number one Serena Williams in the
semi-finals, broke twice to open the third set before the effort of
battling in extreme heat and humidity proved more than Halep could take.
The Swiss 18-year-old has won 21 of her last 25 matches and defeated
four top-10 foes this week, improving to 6-1 this year against such
"I don't think I'm so good at speeches yet," Bencic said. "But first I
want to congratulate Simona on a great week, and my mom, my dad and my
"Even if I lost today it would've been an amazing experience."
It was the second career WTA crown for Bencic, whose first came in
June at Eastbourne, and it capped an impressive week in which she
defeated six Grand Slam finalists - Eugenie Bouchard, Caroline
Wozniacki, Sabine Lisicki, Ana Ivanovic, Halep and Williams, winner of
the past four Grand Slam events in a row.
Bencic will jump to 12th in the world rankings after starting the
week 20th, improving her position for the US Open, the year's final
Grand Slam event that starts August 31 in New York.
Halep and Bencic exchanged breaks over the first five games of the match before Bencic held for a 4-2 edge.
The 18-year-old double faulted to surrender an equalising break in the eighth game as the two battled into the tie-breaker.
Halep, who had her left leg treated in the final changeover before
the tie-breaker, seized a 4-1 lead but Bencic fought back to win six of
the last seven points to claim the first set, the last when Halep netted
After an early exchange of breaks in the second set, Bencic broke for
a 4-2 lead and Halep, taking treatment for the extreme heat at
humidity, seemed near the end.
But she broke back to 4-3 and answered when Bencic broke for a 5-3
edge, breaking back again at love when the Swiss was serving for the
match to pull within 5-4.
Halep held and broke again for a 6-5 lead and then it was her turn to
serve for the set, but Bencic broke back to force the second
Winning six points of seven, Halep seized a 6-2 edge and rallied from
a weak stretch for the third match in a row to level matters.
But Halep, who beat Bencic in straight sets at Wimbledon a year ago
in their only prior meeting, did not have a second wind and Bencic
dominated her twice in service games before Halep called it quits, only
her fourth loss in 32 hardcourt starts in 2015.
"Sorry I couldn't finish, I fought as hard as I could," Halep said.