Swiss teen Belinda Bencic defeated world No. 3 Simona Halep 7-6(5), 6-7(4), 3-0 ret. on Sunday to win her maiden Rogers Cup presented by National Bank title – her biggest career trophy to date. Halep was forced to retire when she was down 0-3 in the deciding set.
In tough conditions on a steamy afternoon in Toronto, the two athletes battled for a remarkable two hours and 30 minutes. It looked like Bencic might take the match in straight-sets, but Halep rallied to force a second-set tiebreaker and ultimately a third set. Trailing by three games in the final set, Halep was spent and could no longer continue.
In her first-ever appearance at Rogers Cup, Bencic made a huge splash by defeating four Top 10 players during the week. The 18-year-old eliminated Canadian star Eugenie Bouchard in her opener, former world No. 1 Caroline Wozniacki in the second round, former Wimbledon finalist Sabine Lisicki in the third, and another former No. 1 Ana Ivanovic in the quarters before upsetting world No. 1 Serena Williams in the semifinal. Her semifinal win was only Williams’ second loss of the year and made Bencic the youngest player in more than 10 years (a 17-year-old Maria Sharapova in 2004) to defeat Williams.