Simona Halep is in the late rounds at the 2017 Rogers Cup, a tournament where she is the defending champion. The Romanian faced rain-delay issues on Friday as her match against France's Caroline Garcia ended up being postponed. Halep, in a match that started on Saturday morning in Toronto, defeated Garcia 6-4, 6-2 in what was an efficient result. The World No. 2 will receive some rest time before playing again, however she will be pulling double duty on Saturday. That being the case, the efficient victory over Garcia may help her keep energy in reserves for what could be a battle ahead.

Halep versus Svitolina preview

Halep will face Elina Svitolina in a match that will be played on Saturday evening in Toronto. Svitolina also played early on Saturday morning, however her quarterfinal match in Toronto started on Friday evening and was interrupted by the rain. The Ukrainian handled the delay better as she beat Garbine Muguruza 4-6, 6-4, 6-3. When Svitolina faced the prospect of having to come back from a set down against the Wimbledon champion she wasn't overly optimistic. In regard to the upcoming match against Halep, Svitolina claimed that she had to return to her hotel first to get a fresh tennis outfit: “First," Svitolina claimed after beating Muguruza, "I need to go to the hotel and get a new dress!

I didn’t take a second one with me, I didn’t expect I was going to win today" (qtd. by the WTA's website)

The two players, Halep and Svitolina, have split their head-to-head matches this season. They faced one another in Rome and Paris with Svitolina winning the former and Halep winning the latter. Those were both clay-court matches while Toronto is a hard-court event. Halep has won the only match played between them on cement, a match that was played way back in 2013. At that time in tour history neither player was as accomplished as each is now. The Toronto semifinal will be the first hard-court match between the two as top-ten players.

World No. 1 maybe not far off for Halep

The other semifinalists in Toronto are Caroline Wozniacki and Sloane Stephens. The winner of their match will face the winner of the Halep/Svitolina match (not before 6pm ET Saturday) in the Toronto final. For Halep, there is an emerging World No. 1 ranking situation ahead. Karolina Pliskova went out to Wozniacki in the quarterfinals. Pliskova has a title defense coming up at WTA Cincinnati following her title there in 2016. If Halep can close out the 2017 Rogers Cup with a title then the Romanian will be in an excellent position to overtake top spot with the August 21st rankings.

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