Serena Williams (right) beat Naomi Osaka in Toronto. Photo: John E. Sokolowski/USA TODAY Sports
Serena Williams (right) beat Naomi Osaka in Toronto. Photo: John E. Sokolowski/USA TODAY Sports

Williams bests Osaka as injured Halep retires in Rogers Cup quarters

Time of article published Aug 10, 2019

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LONDON - Serena Williams overwhelmed Naomi Osaka in a

highly-anticipated rematch of their US Open encounter with a 6-3, 6-4

victory on Friday to enter the semi-finals of the Rogers Cup in

Toronto, Canada. 

The 23-time grand slam winner triumphed in 76 minutes without facing

a single break point, and will next face Czech qualifier Marie

Bouzkova after Simona Halep was forced to withdraw with a left

lower-leg injury after losing the first set 6-4. 

Despite defeat, Japan's Osaka will reclaim the world number one spot

on Monday after world number three Karolina Pliskova was defeated

6-0. 2-6, 6-4 by Canadian Bianca Andreescu, following Ashleigh

Barty's early exit to American Sofia Kenin. 

The 19-year-old Andreescu will face Kenin in Saturday's final four

after she conquered Ukraine's sixth seed Elina Svitolina 7-6 (7-2),

6-4 earlier. 

Meanwhile in men's Montreal event, top seed Rafael Nadal rallied from

a set down to beat Italy's Fabio Fognini 2-6, 6-1, 6-2.

"It was an up-and-down match, but a positive match for me," Nadal

said. "I have been playing better and better."

Alexander Zverev and Dominic Thiem were eliminated by Russians Karen

Khachanov and Daniil Medvedev in their respective quarter-final


Williams and Osaka had not met since their dramatic US Open final

last year, where Williams was involved in a row with umpire Carlos

Ramos after he docked a point for on-court coaching and then lost a

full game as she showcased unsporting behaviour in her protests at

the decision. 

The 36-year-old went on to lose the championship to Osaka, who

claimed her first grand slam title with a 6-2, 6-4 win, but in

Toronto, Williams dominated. 

Williams broke Osaka's serve in the eighth game of the first set to

take the lead and limited Osaka to just 20 points as she claimed her

first victory over the 21-year-old with her 12th ace. 

"I knew her game a little bit more, so that's a little easier. I'm

just overall a little bit better," Williams said in an on-court


"I know her game. I watch her a lot. I know what I needed to do to

hopefully try to get a win today, and it helped a little bit." 

Defeat was bittersweet for Osaka because following the dismissals of

Barty and third seed Pliskova, she ascends to the top of the women's

rankings again. 

"I feel like that's a position that I think requires a lot of work,"

said Osaka.

"I just have to keep working hard and putting in effort, and I have

to not think too much about winning or losing."

Four-time champion Nadal was broken twice by Fognini to fall behind

after the first set but the Italian world number 11 could not


Fognini double-faulted in the second set to trail 2-0 as Nadal surged

through to level the match. 

The world number two Spaniard then won 12 of the last 15 games to win

in under two hours and enter the last four in the Rogers Cup for the

first time since 2013. 

He will play either compatriot Roberto Bautista-Agut or Frenchman

Gael Monfils, who will resume their quarter-final on Saturday after

it was suspended by rain. 

Germany's Zverev, seeded third, made eight double-faults in an

error-strewn display as he was beaten 6-3, 6-3 by Russia's Karen


The second-seeded Austrian Dominic Thiem was stunned in 56 minutes

with a 6-3, 6-1 defeat at the hands of Khachanov's compatriot Daniil


Medvedev and Khachanov will create Masters tournament history by

competing in the first all-Russian semi-final at that level.  

The 22-year-old Zverev was erratic in his performance and after

double-faulting for a fifth time, he snapped his racket before

dropping the first set with a second break. 

"Sascha (Zverev) didn't play his best today," said Khachanov. 

"I know what he's capable of but on the other side, I would like to

take credit for myself."

Another double-fault from Zverev handed Khachanov a match-winning

break for 4-2 in the second set. 

The world number eight Khachanov faced two break points serving for

the match at 5-3, but held on to prevail in 74 minutes. 


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