After being forced to retire due to illness in the Toronto final last year, Simona Halep made up for it this Sunday by winning in Montreal. In the final, the Romanian defeated Madison Keys 7-6(2), 6-3.

If the fifth seed has been able to dominate in key moments of the match, she was, also, greatly helped by the amount of errors made by her rival. In fact, the American finished the match with 45 unforced errors (and 22 winners). Halep, for her part, hit only four winners for 19 unforced errors.

“It was not my best tennis because I couldn’t play my best tennis”, said the Romanian after the match. “She was hitting very strong. As anyone knows, I cannot hit stronger than her because she’s very strong and it’s impossible for my height and for my body. I just try to put the ball away from her, to make her run. I think I did it pretty well, and she missed. It was really tough for me to make winners today because her ball was coming too hard. I’m tired.”

This title, her third of the season, comes just after the title in Bucharest, for Halep. And with the amount of Romanian supporters in the Uniprix Stadium, it almost felt like she was playing at home.

“I like being here in Montréal a lot”, she declared. “It feels like in Europe, like I said many times. With all the Romanians, I felt like home. Many people were coming every day, actually not just today. It was an amazing atmosphere down there. The thing is that the man that announced us on the court today said two words in Romanian, so that motivated me a lot. I said that I have to win.”

What will the 24-year-old do after this long tournament? She didn’t hesitate: “Break. Three days break, [maybe] four. I have to negotiate. Just enjoying the moment. Celebrating this title a little bit. It’s really important for me. Then back to work. I have Cincinnati coming, then the US Open. I want to stay focused and to stay with high confidence.”

This win will enable Halep to move back into the top three of the WTA rankings.

No double for Halep

This weekend, Simona Halep was trying to become the first since Martina Hingis in 2000 to win both the singles and the doubles crown in Canada. In the end, it was not to be, as she and Monica Niculescu lost to the fourth seeds, Ekaterina Makarova and Elena Vesnina, 6-3, 7-6(5).

(Photo: Getty Images)