Halep, Svitolina claim last two Toronto semifinal berths

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.

Simona Halep of Romania serves the ball against Caroline Garcia of France in Toronto on Saturday.   -  AP

Simona Halep continued her quest to defend her title at the WTA Toronto tournament with a straight sets win, while Elina Svitolina needed three sets to book the last semifinal spot on Saturday.

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 quarterfinals to stretch into a second day. They now face the daunting task of having to play their semifinal 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.

The other semifinal sees Danish sixth seed Caroline Wozniacki take on Sloane Stephens of the United States.