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By Chris Oddo | @TheFanChild | Friday August 12, 2022

By all accounts, Coco Gauff is having another breakout season on the WTA Tour. She even graduated high school in 2022, but there is still one problem the teen phenom can’t seem to solve: Simona Halep.

Tennis Express

The Romanian edged Gauff once again on Friday, 6-4, 7-6(2), to improve to 4-0 lifetime against the 11th-ranked American.

It might seem simple – Halep has now won all eight sets she has played against Gauff – but the former World No.1 was quick to report that it was not easy by any means.

“I felt it was a little bit more difficult today,” Halep said. “She served super strong. And always actually it's been tough against her. But I'm really pleased with the way I stayed there strong mentally. And I fought for every point. Which it was really important because she's doing the same thing. And it's never easy against her.”

Halep, who first defeated Gauff when she was a 15-year-old at Wimbledon in 2019, says the rising talent has grown by leaps and bounds since then.

“She's a bit stronger,” she said. “She hits stronger. And the serve was much stronger today. Backhand is always hard. So, yeah, I think she improved a lot since we played last time. But as I said at the start, it's always tough to play against her. And you never know, because she's fighting until the end. And actually she doesn't give you a point. So you have to stay there and to fight.”

Halep broke Gauff’s serve six times in the contest, to achieve her 36th win of the season against 10 losses.

Next up for the Romanian is a first-time meeting with Jessica Pegula, the highest-ranked player left in the draw.

The American eased past Yulia Putintseva, 6-3, 6-3, to reach her fourth WTA 1000 semi-final. Seventh-ranked Pegula improves to 28-13 on the season, and has now reached the semis at the National Bank Open in back-to-back seasons.


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