“The fire is back, it's a good sign if I do that, it looks like I fight” - Simona Halep on smashing her racquet during 2022 Canadian Open SF win against Jessica Pegula

Simona Halep in action at the 2022 Canadian Open
Simona Halep in action at the 2022 Canadian Open

During her three-set defeat of Jessica Pegula on Saturday, Simona Halep was a picture of emotion. She even smashed her racquet on the hardcourt at Sobeys Stadium after missing a return late in the third set. The Romanian, however, sees it as a good sign rather than frustration taking over.

Halep came from a set down to beat the World No. 7 2-6, 6-3, 6-4 to reach the 2022 Canadian Open finals. The World No. 15, who won the tournament in Montreal in 2016 and 2018, is through to her first final since winning the Melbourne 250 in January and her biggest final since winning the Italian Open in 2020.

SI-MO-NA! SI-MO-NA! 💪🇷🇴 @Simona_Halep comes from a set down to defeat Pegula and reach her 18th WTA 1000 final!#NBO22

Speaking at her post-match press conference, Halep admitted that while her actions on the court might not look good, they are, however, good signs as she heads into the 18th WTA 1000 final of her career.

“The fire is back. It's a good sign if I do that. Like, yeah, it looks like I fight. I can say it helps me sometimes. I don't know always if it's good or not. But it helps me. Yeah, it doesn't look good. But it's a tough subject,” Simona Halep said, with a laugh.

Simona Halep takes on Beatriz Haddad Maia in 2022 Canadian Open final

Beatriz Haddad Maia in action at the 2022 Canadian Open
Beatriz Haddad Maia in action at the 2022 Canadian Open

After her come-from-behind defeat of Jessica Pegula, Simona Halep will lock horns with Beatriz Haddad Maia, after the Brazilian won 6-4, 7-6(7) against 14th seed Karolina Pliskova in the other semifinal.

With her semi-final win, Halep will return to the top 10 of the WTA rankings next week, after her 373-week reign in the top 10 came to an end on August 9, 2021. If the Romanian wins the title in Canada, she could rise as high as No. 6. It will also be her ninth WTA 1000 title and 24th career title.

18 - Simona #Halep is now the player with the joint-most WTA-1000 finals (18, level with Serena Williams) - since 2009. Collection.@WTA @WTA_insider #NBO22

Haddad Maia, on the other hand, will be competing in her first WTA 1000 final at the National Bank Open. Her semifinal win against Pliskova will see her enter the top 16 of the WTA rankings for the first time on Monday.

Halep and Haddad Maia have played each other trice to date, with the former leading 2-1 in the head-to-head. Halep won their first two meetings, in the second round of Wimbledon 2017 and at the same stage at the Australian Open this year. They last met in Birmingham during the grass swing this season, where Haddad Maia emerged victorious en route to clinching the grasscourt title.

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Edited by Nihal Taraporvala
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