TORONTO, Canada (AFP) - Former champion Caroline Wozniacki cruised into the WTA Toronto final on Saturday (Aug 12) with a 6-2, 6-3 victory over a resurgent American Sloane Stephens.
Wozniacki, the 2010 champion, needed 80 minutes to eliminate Stephens and reach her sixth final of 2017.
Stephens, who is ranked 934 in the world, was playing in just her third tournament after missing 11 months while recovering from foot surgery. She beat Petra Kvitova, Angelique Kerber and Lucie Safarova to reach the semi-finals.
Wozniacki's road to the semi-finals included a victory over world number one Karolina Pliskova.
The Danish sixth seed jumped out to a 3-0 lead in the first set then broke Stephens again to take a commanding 5-1 lead.
After breezing through the first set, Wozniacki let a 3-1 lead in the second slip away as Stephens levelled at 3-3.
Wozniacki regained the momentum and after a brief rain delay she served out the match at 5-3.
In earlier quarter-final matches on Saturday, Simona Halep continued her quest to defend her Toronto title with a straight sets win, while Elina Svitolina needed three sets to book the last semi-final spot.
Halep defeated Frenchwoman Caroline Garcia 6-4, 6-2 while fifth seeded Svitolina rallied from a first set loss to beat reigning Wimbledon champion Garbine Muguruza 4-6, 6-4, 6-3.
The pair took to the court early Saturday morning after Friday's rain delays forced the quarter-finals to stretch into a second day. They now face the daunting task of having to play their semi-final later in the day.
"Yesterday was really tough, waiting like six or seven hours here on site so I was a little bit tired," Halep said. "But I came here today and I got ready before this match and I'm really proud that I could play so well.
"Caroline is not an easy opponent, so I tried everything I could to win today because I really wanted to play semi-finals again today here in Canada." Halep needed 70 minutes to advance as she didn't drop a serve and broke Garcia three times.
Halep said she is confident her legs will hold up when she faces Svitolina later in the day for a spot in the final.
"It's not going to be easy, at this level, to play two matches in the same day. But I think I'm ready, I feel strong enough in my legs. It's not going to be easy; I'll be playing against a very good opponent. I just want to give my best, enjoy the match, and try to fight," Halep said.