Simona Halep, the No. 2 seed at the 2017 Rogers Cup and a candidate for the top ranking on tour in the weeks ahead, rushed off the court in a match played in Toronto on Thursday. With a result that took less than an hour to achieve, Halep defeated Czech player Barbora Strycova in straight sets 6-1, 6-0. With the result, Halep returns to the quarterfinals in Canada, a year after winning the Rogers Cup in 2016.

Halep had trouble this time last week

Her fans will recall that it was at this stage of the tournament last week in Washington that Halep experienced some problems.

She showed up for her quarterfinal match at the 2017 Citi Open, but withdrew from the match due to heat exhaustion. Not pushing herself too hard may have been smart, especially since she now has three tough matches directly in front of her that will require her full attention. Halep will face Caroline Garcia, a French player that beat Catherine Bellis on Thursday. The Romanian won't be able to look further than that match. However, the semifinal should be very tough, as there are three high seeds lurking in that section of the draw still. They include Elina Svitolina, Garbine Muguruza, and Venus Williams. That section of the draw will be whittled down later on Thursday, but at the time of this writing, Halep's section of the draw was a bit ahead, as she played in the afternoon on Thursday.

Kristina Pliskova also remains alive in the Toronto draw. She spoke with the WTA's website recently, referencing the emerging battle for the top spot on the women's tour. In regard to staying No. 1 Pliskova claimed that it was "going to be tough" (qtd. on August 10th by WTA Staff). "There are a few tournaments to go before the end of the year and I know Simona's behind me.

I'll do my best to stay there as long as I can - hopefully a few more weeks."

More than 'a few tournaments' left

The comment is a little strange, depending on what her understanding of "a few" is. Most take that word to loosely mean "three" and that's what doesn't quite make sense as far as the comment is concerned. There's actually more than "a few tournaments" left to play just in the month of August -- let alone the end of the year.

Not only is the Rogers Cup draw still active but there is also Cincinnati, New Haven, and the US Open to start this month. Furthermore, there are many events in September and October to be played, including big events like Wuhan, Tokyo, the $6.3M Beijing event, and the women's tour finals in Singapore.

Looking at Friday and this weekend, Pliskova could have "a few" matches to play. She will have to survive Wozniacki on Friday to stay alive in the Rogers Cup. If the World No. 1 is to face Halep in Toronto then it could only happen in the final. The top ranking would not be on the line directly with the result of the match. However, it could certainly play a role in determining the year-end No. 1.