10 to See: Simona Halep

Thursday, Aug 3

A feisty player with feet as quick as a hiccup and a backhand so precise it could thread a needle, Simona Halep prepares to return to Rogers Cup for a third consecutive year and aims a third straight appearance on Final Sunday.

Name: Simona Halep

Age: 25 (September 27, 1991)

Plays: Right-handed (two-handed backhand)

Height: 5’6″ (1.68 M)

Ranking: 2

Best Rogers Cup Result: Champion (2016)

Halep appeared in back-to-back Rogers Cup finals from 2015-16 in Toronto and Montreal respectively. In 2016 she also made the doubles final with partner and compatriot Monica Niculescu.

In the last two seasons Halep holds a 9-1 record at Rogers Cup and all matches have been played against Top 45 opponents. Her lone loss came in the 2015 final to Belinda Bencic where Halep retired 3-0 down in the third set with injury.

Last season in Montreal, Halep won her maiden Rogers Cup title with a strong 7-6(2), 6-3 win over no. 12 seed Madison Keys. Halep also defeated Karolina Pliskova, Angelique Kerber and posted a comeback win from a set down against Svetlana Kuznetsova.

The Romanian has been enjoying a strong, consistent 2017 season so far.

After a slow start in Australia, Halep bounced back into form in Miami by making her first quarterfinal of the season. She then made a quick impression on the European clay as she made the semifinals in Stuttgart and went on to defend her title at the Mutua Madrid Open. She also contested in the championship match in Rome and at Roland Garros, losing to Elina Svitolina and Jelena Ostapenko respectively.

Halep made two quarterfinal runs during the summer grass season, losing to Caroline Wozniacki in Eastbourne and Johanna Konta at Wimbledon. She holds a 30-9 season win-loss record.

After a threat of dropping out of the Top 10 earlier this season, Halep has responded by reclaiming her career-best world no. 2 ranking and remains in contention to become the WTA world no. 1 this season.

And are you looking for some dramatic storylines to follow this summer? The quest for the no. 1 ranking is still very much within reach for Halep, who could become the world no. 1 in Toronto!

The battle for no. 1 has been a hot topic this summer between Halep, Angelique Kerber and Karolina Pliskova. Pliskova managed to grab the no. 1 ranking from Kerber after Wimbledon, but Halep is still very much in contention for the top spot.

The Romanian is currently playing the Citi Open in Washington, D.C.. If she wins the title, she will need to defend her Rogers Cup title in Toronto and have Pliskova lose before the quarterfinals in order for Halep to become the world no. 1.

If Halep finishes runner-up in Washington she may still become the world no. 1 with the Rogers Cup title but Pliskova would then need to lose in her opening round match.

Even if the no. 1 ranking does not come for Halep in Canada, the contest between Halep and Pliskova is still very much alive heading into Cincinnati and the US Open, where Pliskova was the champion and runner-up respectively.