By Brodie Widdifield
(August 11, 2017) TORONTO, CANADA – It was a rain filled day in Toronto, and unfortunately only two singles quarterfinals were completed. The first match was filled with delays, but eventually finished with Caroline Wozniacki defeating newly crowned world No. 1 Karolina Pliskova 7-5, 6-7(3), 6-4 in 2 hours and 56 minutes.
The match was delayed multiple times from the beginning, with a significant delay coming with Wozniacki trailing 2-5 in the first set. The match turned after the delay, with the Dane winning five straight games to take the opening set. “And after that, I feel like I stepped a little bit closer to the line just to try and take away a little bit of time. I once I kind of got on a roll, I started serving better.”
Despite the significant delays, Wozniacki didn’t let the stoppages get to her. “It’s okay. I’ve had a lot of rain delays this year, so wasn’t really too worried or too concerned. You can’t really change the weather. So I just think about what’s in my control, and I was ready when we had to be ready.”
The second semifinal between Sloane Stephens and Lucie Safarova was pushed to the Grandstand due to rain delays, and finished with a win for Stephens, 6-2, 1-6, 7-5 in 2 hours and 11 minutes saving three match points. This is just Sloane’s third tournament since returning from injury, and she hadn’t won a match in 2017 before entering play in Toronto.
“Last week I was just hoping to win a match at some point and beat someone. So I would say I turned it around pretty quickly, so I can be proud of that. So a lot of work to be done,” said the American. “Obviously I’m just really happy to be back on the court at this point and winning matches and beating some good players.”
Stephens admitted to missing tennis after a lengthy period away from the sport. “I mean, when you’re playing week in and week out, you’re not thinking, Oh, I wish I could be on the court right now. It’s just more of like, okay, trying to compete every week. And I think for me I was home watching people and I just missed being on the court. So I think that kind of helps me now. I’m super eager to get out there and compete and just have fun, and I think that shows now more than anything.”
She was also able to joke that missing being on the court and winning help make some of the more annoying parts of the job come easier. “Yeah, probably. I mean, I did not miss you guys at all (the media) if that’s what you were trying to get at (smiling). It’s good to see you all but – But, no, I think it’s a long process when you get on the road and you’re traveling every week.”
Stephens will take on Wozniacki not before 1pm in Toronto. The Elina Svitolina- Garbine Muguruza match will finish at 11am, with Muguruza leading 6-4, and Simona Halep-Caroline Garcia will be played at 11am on the Grandstand, with the winners of those matches playing each other Saturday night.
Brodie Widdifield is covering the Rogers Cup in Toronto for Tennis Panorama News, follow @TennisNewsTPN for updates. You can also follow him on Twitter at @MindTheRacket.