Dan Evans defeated by Pablo Carreno Busta in the National Bank Open semi-finals; Simona Halep reaches Canadian Open final | Tennis News


Dan Evans’ impressive run at the National Bank Open was halted by Pablo Carreno Busta, who defeated the Briton in three sets in Montreal.

The world No. 39 became the first player in the tournament to take a set from the Spaniard, taking a 3-0 lead in the second set which he eventually won after having to save a match point.

The Britain No.2 was eventually survived 7-5 6-7 6-2 in two hours and 58 minutes by Carreno Busta, with the pair looking exhausted as they embraced at the net at the end of the match.

Carreno Busta, 23rd in the standings, relied on his first serve to dominate his opponent, recording 43 game-winning points and breaking five of his eight chances.

The victory pushes the Spaniard to his first ATP Masters final, which will be against eighth seed Hubert Hurkacz after the Pole gave up his first set before fighting back to defeat Casper Ruud 5-7 6-3 6- 2.

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Evans congratulates Carreno Busta on his victory

Hurkacz has emerged victorious in five of his six career finals. “I was lucky to win the first finals. But it will be a new game. It will be very delicate and difficult,” he said.

Evans’ strong recent performances should see him climb up the rankings to the edge of the top 20, with those seeded 32nd and higher for the upcoming US Open.

The 32-year-old will next face Filip Krajinovic in the first round of the Western & Southern Open, the final warm-up tournament before Flushing Meadows.

Halep sets up a final showdown with Haddad Maia

Simona Halep dug deep to beat Jessica Pegula 2-6 6-3 6-4 to clinch her ticket to Sunday’s Canadian Open final where she will face Beatriz Haddad Maia after the Brazilian knocked down 14th seed Karolina Pliskova 6-4 7-6 (9 -7) for her last victory against a renowned player.

Two-time tournament champion Halep got off to a slow start and American Pegula took full advantage, finishing the 35-minute opening set with an ace.

But a loose service game from Pegula early in the second set, capped by an unforced backhand error, gave Romania’s former world No. 1 a 3-1 lead as frustration set in at her less experienced opponent.

In the third set, Halep broke in love for a 3-2 lead and hung on to claim her 37th win of the year despite producing 10 double faults and facing less than 60% of his first services.

Romania's Simona Halep celebrates after beating USA's Jessica Pegula in the National Bank Women's Open semi-final
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Simona Halep celebrates after beating Jessica Pegula to reach the final of the National Bank Women’s Open

With the win, Halep will re-enter the top 10 for the first time in nearly a year when the new rankings are released on Monday.

“The fire is back,” Halep said when asked about the times in the game when she seemed ready to take out her frustration on her racquet.

“It’s a good sign if I do this…it helps me sometimes. I don’t always know if it’s good or not. But it helps me.”

Halep, who saved 12 of 17 break point chances, said she received a boost in the game’s biggest moments thanks to vocal support from Toronto fans.

“I felt like I was in Romania today,” she said. “They sent a lot of energy. In difficult times, they really pushed me. So I would like to thank them for that. And I’m expecting them, in fact, tomorrow.”

Beatriz Haddad Maia of Brazil reacts to the crowd after defeating Karolina Pliskova of the Czech Republic in the National Bank Open semifinals
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Beatriz Haddad Maia of Brazil reacts to the crowd after beating Karolina Pliskova

Unseeded Haddad Maia beat local favorite Leylah Fernandez, world number 1 Iga Swiatek and Tokyo Olympics gold medalist Belinda Bencic en route to her first WTA 1000 final.

Haddad Maia beat Halep in the semi-finals of the Birmingham Classic earlier this year, a tournament she won for her only WTA title.

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