No.5 seed Simona Halep won a 10th straight match to win her second straight title, knocking out No.10 seed Madison Keys to win the Rogers Cup title.
WTA Staff

MONTRÉAL, Canada - Simona Halep won her third title of 2016 with a decisive 7-6(2), 6-3 victory at the Rogers Cup over No.10 seed Madison Keys, moving up to No.3 in the world and increasing her winning streak to 10 straight matches.

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"It was not my best tennis because I couldn't play my best tennis," Halep said in her post-win press conference. "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 tried just to put the ball away from her, just to make her run. I think I did it pretty well, and she'd missed. It was really tough for me to make winners today because her ball was coming too hard.

"I'm tired," she said with a smile.

A week of winning took Halep into the finals of singles and doubles in Canada, but didn't always have things her own way against the hard-hitting Keys, who took her to three sets just a few weeks ago at Wimbledon. Saving a pair of  break points at 4-2 in the opening set, Keys broke back to level the set four times - including twice as Halep attempted to serve out the set - to force a tie-break after nearly 45 minutes of play.

"I think I was very tight on my serve because I know she's going to return very strong. I don't know, I wanted to make something big with the serve. I think it was too much pressure on me."

The youngster recently became the first American to make her Top 10 debut since Serena Williams in 1999, but was ultimately undone by unforced errors in the Sudden Death, helping Halep expedite her lead and take the tie-break 7-2.

"My 'Plan A' is just to go and to be aggressive. But, as I said, was impossible. I knew that I have to hit balls back and not hit slowly because she can come and attack them.

"I just wanted to be strong on my legs and just to open the court. That was everything in my mind when I started to play."

Winning the first six points of the second set, Halep broke in the second game and never looked back, overcoming a 0-30 deficit in the very end to clinch her first hardcourt title since the 2015 BNP Paribas Open.

"I like being here in Montréal a lot. It feels like being in Europe, like I've said many times. With all the Romanians, I felt like I was at home. Many people were coming every day, not just today. It was an amazing atmosphere down there.

"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."

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Keys nonetheless returns to the Top 10 at No.9, and felt there were only positives to take from having reached her first career WTA final on hardcourt. 

"There's only one person who is going to walk away and be completely happy with this week," she told press after the match. "You know, I'm obviously not going to say it's a bad week just because I lost one match. I think I played really a pretty good tournament.

"I wish today went a little bit differently. Sometimes it happens. Just take the positives from that and move on."

Meanwhile, Halep moves back up into the Top 3 after beginning the year at No.2 but falling as low as No.7 after suffering through tough Australian and Middle Eastern swings. All of this comes on the 40th anniversary of Nadia Comaneci's Perfect 10 at the 1976 Olympic Games in this very city.

"It's nice," Halep said. "When I arrived here first day, I went to that event, big event, for her, that was done for her. Motivated me a little bit.

"It feels nice that after 40 years I won here in Montréal. It's a nice thing for Romanians. I'm happy that I could do it."

Along with her win at the BRD Bucharest Open, Halep has won 10 straight matches, and is still yet to play the upcoming doubles final - the first of her career on the WTA tour - alongside countrywoman Monica Niculescu.

"It was tough to come from the clay court to the hardcourt. But if I have confidence, I can play my game easy and I can win matches.

"Here I won matches with top players. That makes me more, like, happy and relaxed that I have a good level of tennis in this moment."

The Romanians face No.4 seeds and two-time Grand Slam champions Ekaterina Makarova and Elena Vesnina.

"I think doubles helps me to exercise my return and also the serve. So I take it everything like positive things and just enjoying."

"It was an amazing week. Thank you @CoupeRogers fans, it felt like home!" -@Simona_Halep #CoupeRogers https://t.co/MW4bwR4PYu