Halep, Svitolina advance in Toronto

Toronto - Simona Halep continued her quest to defend her title at the WTA Toronto tournament with a straight sets win, while Elina Svitolina needed three sets to book the last semi-final spot on Saturday.

Halep defeated Frenchwoman Caroline Garcia 6-4, 6-2 while fifth seeded Svitolina rallied from a first set loss to beat reigning Wimbledon champion Garbine Muguruza 4-6, 6-4, 6-3.

The pair took to the court early Saturday morning after Friday's rain delays forced the quarter-finals to stretch into a second day. They now face the daunting task of having to play their semi-final later in the day.

"Yesterday was really tough, waiting like six or seven hours here on site so I was a little bit tired," Halep said. "But I came here today and I got ready before this match and I'm really proud that I could play so well.

"Caroline is not an easy opponent, so I tried everything I could to win today because I really wanted to play semi-finals again today here in Canada."

Halep needed 70 minutes to advance as she didn't drop a serve and broke Garcia three times.

Halep said she is confident her legs will hold up when she faces Svitolina later in the day for a spot in the final.

"It's not going to be easy, at this level, to play two matches in the same day. But I think I'm ready, I feel strong enough in my legs. It's not going to be easy; I'll be playing against a very good opponent. I just want to give my best, enjoy the match, and try to fight," Halep said.

The other semi-final sees Danish sixth seed Caroline Wozniacki take on Sloane Stephens of the United States.

Results on Saturday in the WTA hardcourt tournament in Toronto (x-denotes seeded player):


Caroline Wozniacki (DEN x6) bt Sloane Stephens (USA) 6-2, 6-3


Elina Svitolina (UKR x5) bt Garbie Muguruza (ESP x4) 4-6, 6-4, 6-3

Simona Halep (ROM x2) bt Caroline Garcia (FRA) 6-4, 6-2