Two-time champion Simona Halep advances past Coco Gauff at National Bank Open

Simona Halep joins Carly Agro to discuss her quarter-finals win against Coco Gauff, how the wind affected the match and her struggles against Gauff's serve.

TORONTO — Two-time champion Simona Halep has moved on to the semifinals of the National Bank Open.

The Romanian player dispatched Coco Gauff of the United States 6-4, 7-6 on Friday.

The 30-year-old Halep won the title in 2016 and 2018 when it was still called the Rogers Cup.

Halep will face seventh-seeded Jessica Pegula in a semifinal on Saturday. 

Pegula, the highest-rated player left in the tournament, downed Kazakhstan's Yulia Putintseva 6-3, 6-3 in their quarterfinal match.

Halep is now 4-0 in singles matches against Gauff on the WTA Tour.

Later, Ottawa's Gabriela Dabrowski and partner Giuliana Olmos of Mexico defeated Andreja Klepac of Slovenia and Chile's Alexa Guarachi 2-6, 6-2 (10) to advance to the doubles semifinal.

The quarterfinal between Halep and Gauff on Friday was the only one at the National Bank Open with two seeded players. Gauff is the tournament's 10th seed and Halep is 15th.

An evenly contested first set saw both players take turns controlling the pace. Halep pulled away in part thanks to a pair of deep returns from Gauff that were well out of bounds.

The crowd at Sobeys Stadium on York University's campus also seemed equally split, with Romanian flags dotting the stands but calls of "Let's go Coco!" often punctuating the breaks in play.

Gauff was down a double break 4-1 in the second set, battling back from the brink to tie it up. The 18-year-old American clenched her fist and yelled "come on!" when Halep's return landed out of bounds to tie the set 5-5.

The see-saw match continued, with Halep digging deep to rally from a 30-0 deficit to take a 6-5 lead. Gauff then used her powerful forehand to force tiebreak, with a deep lob going past the charging Halep.

Gauff had a poorly timed double fault to give Halep a 6-2 advantage in the tiebreak and force match point. The teenager then put a backhand into the net to end the match as Halep advanced.

In later quarterfinals, 12th seed Belinda Bencic of Switzerland was set to face Beatriz Haddad Maia of Brazil and 14th seed Karolina Pliskova was scheduled to take on China's Zheng Qinwen.

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