One of the highlights of the 2018 season was the final of Rogers Cup in Montreal.
Simona Halep who had won Roland Garros met Sloane Stephens who went onto win the US Open following an exceptional run of form.
The tennis both these ladies produced in Montreal was mad. It was probably one of my favourite finals over the last few years, it was relentless between the two and so nervy and bold.
Simona Halep was the quickest out of the blocks, the Romanian showed incredible focus early on and was like road-runner at the back of the court.
A theme of Sloane’s quite incredible run in 2018 was how effortless she made hitting her groundstrokes look and something I really like is there wasn’t a major celebration after winning a point it was onto the next one.
Sloane fought from 1-4 down to level at 4-4 in style, the American painted the lines with her groundstrokes, it was like PlayStation tennis!
Simona Halep wasn’t going to be slowed down there creating and taking her third break point opportunity to break the American’s serve and lead 5-4.
The effortless hitting continued from the American who fought back level in the opener. Halep did go onto find herself down two set points but survived to take it to a tie-break.
The Halep racket didn’t survive after being thrown to the ground after going 0-3 down as her open court forehand crashed into the net.
On the third set point she faced the Romanian came up with a stunning forehand cross-court which as you can see just painted the line!
image credit – WTA
Simona had set point of her own and a shanked forehand return from the American sealed the set for the Romanian on her first set point having had to save three minutes before!
Sloane continued to strike the ball incredibly well as she found an early break of serve and held off Halep well in the match converting her fourth break point to take the match to a third set.
It was Halep’s turn to immediately break serve and the top seed continued to defend excellently well and consolidated her break with a drop shot from behind the baseline which trickled off the net cord and all Sloane could do was nod her head in disbelief.
A few games later the Romanian extended her lead by a double break despite Sloane controlling the rally but at the conclusion she smashed the drive volley right into the net.
Halep did lose her serve but the ninth game became pivotal as she would see three match points but couldn’t convert!
At 5-4 and the double break lead shortened to a single lead the Romanian had no issue serving out for the title with a ace down the T in a thrilling Montreal final!