Halep to face Stephens in Montreal final

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Halep, who defeated Stephens in three sets at Roland Garros in June, earlier cruised past Australia's Ashleigh Barty 6-4, 6-1 to book her place in the final.

Halep was in control from the outset against a nervous-looking Barty, whose challenge was undone by a string of unforced errors. The surprise 2017 US Open victor responding by rediscovering the combination of power and unnerving accuracy that had served her well at the start of each set to break straight break and serve out the match with a series of thundering groundstrokes.

"I think I talked enough about it", she said. She broke again for a 4-1 lead, but the Australian then had her best moments, breaking back after a cross-court shot that drew a roar from the crowd.

Stephens, the world No. 3, has had a productive 2018, winning a hard-court title in Miami in March and making the French Open final, where the 25-year-old by beaten by Halep.

Saturday's semifinal will mark the first career meeting between Halep and Barty.

But Halep did not lose a point on her serve the rest of the set, and broke twice more to open the second set.

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"I think I played smart tennis today", she said.

"I just went all the way also on her forehand, short, cross, long, everything. I played some slices". "She's the world No1 for a reason but I'm just going to go out there and try to get her".

Svitolina rallied briefly to get back to 5-3 but then handed Stephens another break and the first set when she sent a forehand wide.

The second set was a similar story, with Stephens going 3-1 up after an early break.

After a shaky start, the French Open champion won three straight games to take the first set and dominated the second set behind pinpoint serving and stout defence. "Obviously happy with my performance today". "I had a quick turnaround between singles and doubles".

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