Simona Halep vs Caroline Garcia tips, predictions and live stream: Halep to book place in third straight Rogers Cup semifinal in Toronto

Hannah Wilks in WTA 12 Aug 2017
  • World no. 2 Simona Halep faces Caroline Garcia in the quarterfinals of the Rogers Cup
  • Halep vs Garcia Rogers Cup tennis is live from Toronto on Saturday at 11.00am local time (4.00pm BST)
  • Watch and bet on tennis live from Toronto at bet365 > live streaming > tennis
Simona Halep (Photo by Vaughn Ridley/Getty Images)

Closing in on a place in the Rogers Cup semifinals, second seed Simona Halep takes on Caroline Garcia in the Toronto quarterfinals on Saturday after rain forced their scheduled Friday night clash to be abandoned.

Halep vs Garcia Rogers Cup tennis is live from Toronto on Saturday at 11.00am local time (4.00pm BST). Watch and bet on tennis live from Toronto at bet365 > live streaming > tennis



Simona Halep’s Rogers Cup title defense continues as she faces the powerful, improving Caroline Garcia on Saturday in the Toronto quarter-finals.

Halep is out to make the Rogers Cup final for the third straight year, having fallen to Belinda Bencic in the final in Toronto in 2015 and beaten Madison Keys to win the title in Montreal last year. The Romanian, a former Indian Wells champion and US Open semifinalist, plays very well on this type of slow hard court and is looking for her second title of the year after winning the Mutua Madrid Open, having also finished runner-up at the Internazionali BNL d’Italia in Rome and at the French Open. 

Halep missed out on becoming world no. 1 when she lost the French Open final and when she suffered a tough defeat to Johanna Konta in the quarterfinals of Wimbledon after having been two points away from victory, but she has an extremely good chance of taking the top spot away from Karolina Pliskova in the next few weeks. The Romanian seems to have bounced back well from losing her second Grand Slam final, a disappointing defeat given that she was close to winning the title, and although her Citi Open campaign in Washington, D.C. ended in a retirement from heat-related illness after splitting sets with Ekaterina Makarova, Halep seems by and large fit and healthy – which makes her a serious threat to dominate this US Open Series.

Halep opened her Toronto campaign with a 6-3, 6-4 victory over tricky Wimbledon semifinalist Magdalena Rybarikova and was absolutely ruthless against Barbora Strycova in the third round, crushing the Czech player 6-0, 6-1 in just 58 minutes to maintain her perfect record against Strycova.

Now 36-10 in 2017, having successfully shaken off an injury-marred start to the season, Halep prepares to face Caroline Garcia for a place in the semifinals.

Caroline Garcia  (Photo by Vaughn Ridley/Getty Images)
Garcia had only won one main-draw match at the Rogers Cup in three previous appearances and came into this year’s tournament on a three-match losing streak, but the French player has found some good form in recent months and it has showed so far this week with victories over 2013 Rogers Cup runner-up Sorana Cirstea and two players who had beaten seeds in previous rounds, Varvara Lepchenko (who ousted Jelena Ostapenko) and Catherine Bellis (who defeated Svetlana Kuznetsova). Garcia dropped just 11 games total in her victories over Lepchenko and Bellis to reach a first Rogers Cup quarterfinal.
Garcia has been a top-100 player since 2013 and a top-50 player since winning her first career title in Bogota in the spring of 2014, but it’s only really now that the Frenchwoman is starting to capitalize on the potential she has always seemed to possess. Garcia seems to have the ideal physique for tennis and there is a great deal of impressive, effortless power in her groundstrokes; she is also an excellent doubles player, winning the French Open with Kristina Mladenovic, which adds another dimension to her game. Her serve is vulnerable, but the main problem has always seemed to be her mentality and inability to deal with pressure.


That appears to be changing recently, as a difficult start of the year seems to have led to a change of mentality. Garcia’s decision not to play Fed Cup led to some bad reactions from her teammates, who mocked her later in the year when she suffered from a back injury which meant she couldn’t play. The back problem impacted her clay season, but when she returned to action Garcia started performing much better, making the semifinals of Strasbourg and then breaking her jinx of playing at home – something which has always been difficult for her – by making a first Grand Slam quarterfinal at the French Open, losing to Karolina Pliskova in the quarterfinals. Garcia went on to make the semifinals of Mallorca and reach the fourth round of Wimbledon before losing to Konta in a tight match, and picked up another semifinal on clay in Bastad when she lost to eventual champion Katerina Siniakova. 

Eighteen of Garcia’s 31 match victories in 2017 have come since Strasbourg, and it seems clear that a new, more streamlined mental approach is bearing fruit for the Frenchwoman, now up to a career-high ranking of world no. 19. 
‘Things were complicated before the French Open. I don’t think it motivated me, but it made me learn things about the way I was working and about others around me. In high-level sports there are always some people you kind of have to be careful with,’ Garcia said in Toronto. ‘I learned a lot about what I could do to be a better person, and from that, I can become a better player. I’ve just tried to be more focused on myself, what my team thinks, and forget the other people around me.’

Garcia is 8-25 against top-10 players in her career, but those wins have mainly come against other powerful attacking (and hence error-prone) players like herself, like Pliskova and Ana Ivanovic. It is an entirely different test to face someone like Simona Halep, who gets every ball back, puts you under pressure at every opportunity with her own brand of transitional attacking tennis and forces you to hit multiple balls to win a point. The only previous meeting between the two was a win for Halep, although Garcia did push her to three, at the Apia International Sydney in January 2016 when Halep won 6-4, 2-6, 6-1. I’d be surprised if Garcia managed to take a set from Halep on the Romanian’s way to the Rogers Cup semifinals tonight.  


Halep vs Garcia is scheduled on Centre Court in Toronto on Saturday at 11.00am local time (4.00pm BST). Watch and bet on the match live at bet365 > live streaming > Simona Halep vs Caroline Garcia


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Simona Halep vs Caroline Garcia tips, predictions and live stream: Halep to book place in third straight Rogers Cup semifinal in Toronto

Caroline Garcia’s new mental approach has led to much better results in recent months, but is the powerful Frenchwoman ready to upset defending Rogers Cup champion Simona Halep in Friday’s Toronto quarterfinals? Read our tips, predictions and stream the match live online.

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