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15th seeded Simona Halep advanced on Saturday to the final of the 2,527,250-dollar National Bank Open in Toronto, as she defeated American Jessica Pegula 2-6, 6-3 6-4 in a hard-fought match that took two hours and 12 minutes to settle.

Following this win, Halep will return to the world's Top 10, the WTA website announced.

Halep won the first game of the match, but then Pegula had her trailing 5-1 and took the first set 6-2.

Halep played better in the second set, taking an early 2-0 lead, then broke her opponent once more for the 3-1 and then 4-1 lead and sealed the set at 6-3.

After a break on each side in the beginning of the decider, Simona Halep jumped out to a 5-2 double break lead, Pegula made a counterbreak, got closer to 4-5, saving two match points, but Halep finished it off 6-4.

Halep struck 10 double-faults in the match and served at just 60% but was able to save 12 of 17 break points on the day.

This will be Halep's fourth Canadian Open final, her second final this year and the most important one since the Rome Open in 2020. On August 9 Halep left the Top 10 after 373 consecutive weeks there, and if she wins the title in Toronto, she will climb to 6th position.

Also, this is Halep's 18th WTA 1,000 final, as she is bidding to win her 24th career title.

The Romanian scored 37 victories this season, tying with Tunisian Ons Jabeur for the second-most wins on tour.

Halep secured a cheque for 259,100 dollars and 585 WTA points, and is now to take on Brazilian Beatriz Haddad Maia.

Halep is a two-time Canadian Open winner in 2016 and 2018, and in the 2015 Toronto edition of the tournament she was a runner-up to Belinda Bencic. AGERPRES (RO - editor: Mihai Tenea; EN - editor: Simona Klodnischi)

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