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Defending champion Halep edges past Rybarikova

TORONTO, Canada - No.2 seed Simona Halep got her Rogers Cup title defense off to a strong start, battling past the tricky Magdalena Rybarikova in two sets, 6-3, 6-4.

The Romanian faces the challenging task of defending the same title in two different cities; Halep is on the quest for the rare Canadian double, as she attempts to win back-to-back Rogers Cup titles for the first time in 17 years.

No.2 seed Simona Halep got her Rogers Cup title defense off to a strong start, battling past the tricky Magdalena Rybarikova in two sets.
The last woman to win Montréal and Toronto in back-to-back years was Martina Hingis, who ended last millennium with one title and began the next with the other.

After two marathon first games set the tone for the match early on, it took Halep just one break of serve to wrap up the opening set against the dangerous Rybarikova, a lucky loser who’s fresh off a run to the Wimbledon semifinals.

The second set turned out to be even more of a battle, with Halep weathering five breaks of serve to emerge with the lead. After an hour and 38 minutes, Halep closed out the match to the delight of the vocally pro-Romanian crowd in Toronto. 

Halep’s next challenge will be Barbora Strycova - on Tuesday the Czech came back from a set down to knock out Daria Gavrilova 4-6, 7-6(5), 6-3.

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