Dan Evans hits back to book a place in Montreal semi-finals

Paul had a blistering start to take the first set, but the British No 2 took charge in the second to push ahead for a 1-6, 6-3, 6-4 victory

Daniel Evans of Great Britain reacts after winning a point against Tommy Paul of the United States. AFP
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Dan Evans has reached his second ATP Masters semi-final after fighting his way back at the Canadian Open.

American Tommy Paul had a blistering start to take the first set, but the British No 2 took charge in the second to push ahead for a 1-6, 6-3, 6-4 victory.

“You wonder if it’s going to happen, if you are going to get into the match, and I got in,” said Evans.

“When I got ahead I really took it to Tommy and that’s been sort of my way throughout this week so far, and I went about it in a good way, I was fired up and I thought it was a good battle between me and Tommy.”

Pablo Carreno Busta, 31, became the only player in Montreal to avoid dropping a set as he knocked out Jack Draper to end the possibility of an all-British semi-final and book his spot against Evans.

The 20-year-old scrapped hard but the Spaniard dominated throughout to win 7-6, 6-1, with his younger opponent left to appreciate a week in which he reached his first Masters quarter-final and took down world number five Stefanos Tsitsipas.

The other semi-final will be contested between Hubert Hurkacz and Casper Ruud, after the former defeated Nick Kyrgios and the latter sent local favourite Felix Auger-Aliassime home.

Simona Halep plays a shot against Coco Gauff. Reuters

Romania's Simona Halep fought off a late rally from Coco Gauff and Brazil's Beatriz Haddad Maia pulled off another three-set upset as both made the semi-finals of the Canadian Open on Friday.

Twice champion Halep secured a nervy 6-4, 7-6 win on Friday and advance to the last four for a fifth time.

The former world number one, up a set and leading 4-1 in the second, looked headed for an easy passage into the last four.

But Gauff dug in and rallied to force the second set to a tiebreak before 15th-seeded Halep finish off the 10th seed in the tiebreak to maintain her dominance over the American.

In four career meetings, including three this year, Gauff has yet to take a set off Halep, who next faces another American in seventh seed Jessica Pegula - a 6-3, 6-3 winner over Kazakh Yulia Putintseva.

"I'm really pleased with the way I stayed there strong mentally," said Halep, after reaching her 29th career semi-final at a WTA 1000 event - more than any other player.

"And I fought for every point which was really important because she's doing the same thing. Mentally I'm strong even if I struggled a little bit in the second set."

Halep certainly struggled in the second as she twice served for the match at 5-4 and 6-5 only to be broken each time.

But the twice Grand Slam winner refocused in the tiebreak to stop the contest going to a third and registered her 36th win this season behind only Iga Swiatek (48) and Ons Jabeur (37).

The 30-year-old also had to wrestle with her serve, committing eight double faults while giving French Open finalist Gauff plenty of chances with 12 break opportunities.

Haddad Maia humbled 12th seed Belinda Bencic of Switzerland 2-6, 6-3, 6-3 to become the first Brazilian to reach the semi-finals of a WTA 1000 tournament.

The 26-year-old from Sao Paulo, who stunned Polish world number one Iga Swiatek in the previous round, needed two hours and 11 minutes to edge past 2015 champion Bencic.

She will meet former world number one Karolina Pliskova who prevailed 4-6, 6-4, 6-4 against Zheng Qinwen of China in the last quarter-final match.

Updated: August 13, 2022, 8:10 AM
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