Women’s Final:  Simona Halep (ROU) vs.  Madison Keys (USA)
2014 was the last and only time Keys was able to defeat Halep; however, a lot has changed since then and expectations have changed. Everyone knows that Keys can punish the ball, but is she mentally strong enough to compete against a tricky opponent like Halep? Both players started off by dropping their serves, a sign of tension or fatigue. Halep had openly admitted that she was “dead tired” yesterday. What did she have left in the tank to play against the power from Keys? Frankly, Keys should have won the first set and the match; however, she was rattled from the very beginning and never seemed able to calm her anxiety. Keys has a tendency to hit harder and harder the more nervous she gets and today it backfired, which played right into Halep’s hands.
Halep was exhausted, all Keys needed to do was keep the ball in play and run Halep a bit and she could have won the match. However, that is easier said than done, especially when the mind is clouded by anxious thoughts. She was a bit calmer in the second set; however, by then she had fallen too far behind to make an impression of Halep’s focus. Halep, the much more experienced player, showed her maturity by increasing her focus at the critical juncture in the match – the tiebreak. Once she won the tiebreak you could sense her confidence rising and she stayed calm, withstood the power from Keys and broke her to win her first Rogers Cup title….7-6(2), 6-3.