A year ago, Simona Halep had just fallen out of the Top 10 for the first time in over seven years after being sidelined from the tour for three months—including missing Roland Garros, Wimbledon and the Olympics—due to a calf injury.

But today the two-time Grand Slam champion came full circle, cementing her return to the Top 10 by defeating Beatriz Haddad Maia, 6-3, 2-6, 6-3, to win the WTA 1000 event in Toronto—one of the biggest lead-up tournaments to the US Open.

The former No. 1 is projected to rise from No. 15 to No. 6 on the new WTA rankings.

“I’m really exhausted,” Halep said in her trophy speech after the two-hour, 16-minute championship match. “Today was a really tough battle. It was a great fight.”

Halep made a great escape in the first set—down 3-0 after just 19 minutes on court, she turned things around on a dime, cutting back on her unforced errors and rattling off the next six games in a row to sneak out a one-set lead, 6-3.

Haddad Maia jumped out to another lead in the second set, going up 4-0, but this time there was no comeback as the two held from there until she had the set, 6-2.

The Brazilian brought up two break points in the opening game of the third set, too, but Halep fought them both off and held for 1-0, then broke for 2-0—she got broken right back for 2-1 but didn’t let that derail her, winning the next two games to extend her lead to 4-1 and eventually closing it out a few games later, 6-3, 2-6, 6-3.

The National Bank Open in Canada is now the first WTA event that Halep has won three times in her career—she won it in Montreal in 2016 and 2018, too.

“Canada is a special place for me,” the 2018 Roland Garros and 2019 Wimbledon winner said. “I’ve won in Montreal two times but never here, so today is a special day.

“I fought really hard because I really wanted to win in Toronto.”

Toronto is Halep's biggest title in almost two years, since she won Rome on clay in September 2020.

Toronto is Halep's biggest title in almost two years, since she won Rome on clay in September 2020.


It’s the 24th overall WTA title of Halep's career, and her ninth at the WTA 1000 level—the other eight came in Doha in 2014, Dubai and Indian Wells in 2015, Madrid and Montreal in 2016, Madrid in 2017, Montreal in 2018 and Rome in 2020.

Her win over Haddad Maia was also her 38th win of the year, passing Ons Jabeur for second-most wins on the women’s tour this year, trailing only Iga Swiatek (49).

It was a (very) memorable week for Haddad Maia as well—she not only became the first Brazilian to beat a reigning No. 1 in WTA rankings history with her third-round win over Swiatek, she then went on to become the first Brazilian to reach the final of a WTA 1000 event. She beat four Top 20 players in total en route to the final, extending her winning streak against the elite to seven in a row before Halep snapped it.

The 26-year-old lefty is now projected to make her Top 20 debut on the new WTA rankings on Monday, rising from No. 24 to approximately No. 16.