Serena Williams Beats Naomi Osaka to Reach Toronto Semifinals
(August 9, 2019) TORONTO – The Rogers Cup can typically feature some exciting upsets after players return from one of the longest layoffs of the season after Wimbledon, and Friday was no exception. The Saturday semifinals will feature the ever present Serena Williams and three exciting youngsters.
Serena Williams had a relatively straight forward time against Naomi Osaka, playing her for the first time since the US Open final. She didn’t face a break point and went on to win 6-3, 6-3. She also experienced a scary moment running into the net post while chasing down a drop shot, but laughed it off after the match.
“Tennis players don’t really get too dirty and ugly on the court. So that was one of a few moments where those kind of injuries can happen or whatever. But it was fine. It hurt, but it wasn’t the end of the world.”
Perhaps the biggest story of the day came in the final match, after Simona Halep was forced to retire after dropping the first set to qualifier Marie Bouzkova. The Romanian mentioned after her first match that she could feel discomfort in her Achilles, and typically feels it when returning to play on hard courts. It ultimately was the reason for her retirement from the quarterfinal match.
“Achilles problems. I felt since the first match here. And today I felt it more, so that’s why I decided to retire.”
The other side of the draw saw Sofia Kenin taking out Elina Svitolina, and hometown favorite Bianca Andreescu winning in three sets yet again, this time over Karolina Pliskova. The young Canadians mental toughness has been a popular topic of discussion after winning her fourth straight 3 set match in Toronto.
“It comes from deep within. I’ve been practicing a lot on trying to figure out what to do in these kind of circumstances.
And when I step out on the court, I’m fearless. I show no mercy no matter who I play, and I think that’s showing a lot.”
She also struggled with a groin injury early in the third set, but fought through it.
“So I got really low on this one ball she hit, and I felt my groin a little bit. I felt it this morning too. It was a bit sore, but I think it got a little bit worse during the match. But, yeah, I took the longest ice bath ever just now. I’m still shivering. So hopefully that helps.”
The first Saturday semifinal will feature Andreescu and Kenin at 1pm EST and Williams will take on Bouzkova at 6pm EST.
Brodie Widdifield is covering the Rogers Cup in Toronto for Tennis Panorama News, follow him on Twitter at @MindTheRacket