AAP Tennis

Barty no match for Halep at Canadian Open

By AAP Newswire

Ashleigh Barty will use her Canadian Open semi-final defeat as ammunition for her assault on the US Open later this month.

The Australian world No.16 suffered a 6-4 6-1 loss to top-ranked Romanian Simona Halep, who cruised into her third final at the WTA Tour event.

An error-prone Barty was undone by a patient Halep, who employed a strategy based on making a high percentage of first serves and controlling the rallies.

Far from being disheartened by the loss, Barty quickly put the result behind her and took the positives from a solid week of tennis - a fortnight out from the year's final grand slam event.

"A moment to enjoy and learn... Too good today, Sim. Looking forward to the dubs final tomorrow," Barty posted on Twitter.

Barty - who faced Halep for the first time in her career - could only convert one of seven break-point chances and racked up 37 unforced errors, winning just 29 per cent of points on her second serve.

Although Barty has one of the stronger forehands on tour, Halep's big edge on the backhand side meant most of the baseline points went her way.

"I think I played smart tennis today. I pushed her ... on her backhand; then I could just receive a shorter ball, an easier ball for me to open the court," Halep told WTA.com.

"I just went all the way also on her forehand, short, cross, long, everything. I played some slices. I think the match was a very good level of tennis even if the rhythm was a little bit mixed."

Sloane Stephens set up a rematch of the French Open final with Halep after she eased past defending champion Elina Svitolina 6-3 6-3.

Stephens, preparing for her US Open title defence, broke the Ukrainian's serve five times to reach the final without having dropped a set through the tournament.

"I was pretty close (to winning) the last time so I'm just going to go out there and play hard," Stephens, who trails Halep 6-2 in hed-to-head contests, said.

"I have nothing to lose. Making the finals here is incredible.

"She's the world No.1 for a reason but I'm just going to go out there and try to get her."