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Serena scripts ‘revenge’ over Osaka, sweeps into Rogers Cup semis

Naomi Osaka (L) shakes hands with Serena Williams after their Rogers Cup quarterfinal at the Aviva Centre in Toronto, Ontario. Photos: Tennis Canada
Karthik Swaminathan

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Teenager Bianca Andreescu overcomes groin strain to upset “Ace Queen” Pliskova, while the 23-time Grand Slam champion records her first win over 21-year-old Osaka

Toronto: Bianca Andreescu punched her ticket to the final four with a three-set victory over World No. 3 Karolina Pliskova 6-0, 2-6, 6-4. The Mississauga-native becomes the first woman from Canada to reach the Rogers Cup semifinals since Faye Urban in 1969.

It was for the 20th time in her career that Pliskova was at the receiving end of a bagel set, the last one coming in Wimbledon 2016 against Yanina Wickmayer although she would go on to win that match.

Andreescu will next face 20-year-old Sofia Kenin, another young rising star. The pair have squared off thrice before, with the Canadian leading their rivalry 2–1.

Andreescu will undoubtedly be the favourite when she takes the stage at Aviva Centre on Saturday afternoon. With her latest upset win over Pliskova, the Canadian is now a perfect 6-0 against the top-10 over her career, all of which have taken place in 2019. Her match record this season is also stupendous, she’s won 25 of her 29 matches over the course of the year.

“If I was that little girl, I wouldn’t have believed her that—if I said that I would be in a semifinals here today. So this really means a lot to me,” said Bianca on what it means to her to reach the final four at her home tournament.

Serena Excels in US Open Final Rematch
In their first meeting since last year’s US Open final, Serena Williams captured her first career victory against Naomi Osaka. She defeated the World No. 2 in straight sets 6-3, 6-4 and, in so doing, took possession of another record in her glorious career: most wins at the Rogers Cup in the Open Era. Williams now has 33 wins, beating the previous record of 32 held by Arantxa Sanchez Vicario.

“I knew her game a little bit more, so that’s a little easier. And, you know, I’m just overall a little bit better. You know, last year was—you know, it was a miraculous year for me, to be honest,” Serena said later.

Williams has now reached the semifinals at Rogers Cup in eight of nine appearances at this event. The only time she was unsuccessful was back in 2005, when she was forced to withdraw from her third-round match against Flavia Pennetta with a knee injury. The 23-time Grand Slam champion will face Marie Bouzkova. The Czech qualifier advanced to the last four following an early retirement from World No. 4 Simona Halep due left ankle injury.

Osaka, meanwhile, will regain the World No. 1 ranking.

“Well, I think I served well. Just like trying to be solid, I guess. For me, honestly, anything is positive compared to Wimbledon. And I just try to grow on every match. And even though I lost today, I learned a lot, which is something that I’m really grateful for and something that I really looked towards when I play matches anyway,” said Osaka looking at the brighter side.

Bianca Andreescu became the first Canadian woman to reach the Rogers Cup semifinal in 50 years

Women’s Singles – Quarterfinals
[8] S. Williams (USA) d [2] N. Osaka (JPN) 63 64
B. Andreescu (CAN) d [3] K. Pliskova (CZE) 60 26 64
[Q] M. Bouzkova (CZE) d [4] S. Halep (ROU) 64 00 Retired
S. Kenin (USA) d [6] E. Svitolina (UKR) 76(2) 64

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Djokovic to meet Medvedev in Cincinnati Masters semis

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Novak Djokovic. Photo: @ATP

Washington: World’s number one Novak Djokovic reached the semifinals of the ongoing Cincinnati Masters after defeating Frenchman Lucas Pouille in their last-eight match.

Djokovic defeated Pouille 7-6(2), 6-1 in a contest that lasted 86 minutes on Friday.

The Serbian has now made at least the last four in five consecutive tournaments he has played, and the top seed is into the semi-finals at this ATP Masters 1000 event for the seventh time.

The 32-year-old is two victories away from lifting his 34th Masters 1000 trophy, which would move him to within one crown of Rafael Nadal’s record 35.

In the semifinal, Djokovic will next face Russia’s Daniil Medvedev, who will try to make his second Masters 1000 final in as many weeks.

The World’s No. 1 leads their head to head record 3-1, but Medvedev won their most recent meeting at this year’s Monte-Carlo Masters.

In the other semifinal, France’s Richard Gasquet will play against Belgian 16th seed David Goffin.

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Kyrgios fined $113,000 for meltdown at Cincinnati Masters

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Nick Kyrgios.

Cincinnati: Controversial Australian star Nick Kyrgios was fined 113,000 after his explosive Cincinnati Masters meltdown which saw him smash two racquets, launch an abusive tirade at the chair umpire before appearing to spit at the official.

The ATP said the massive sanction included individual fines for ball abuse, leaving the court without permission, an audible obscenity and unsportsmanlike conduct during his second round loss to Russia’s Karen Khachanov.

Kyrgios, 24, was warned that he could also face another suspension from the sport once a full investigation has taken place.

After the world number 27 lost 6-7 (3/7), 7-6 (7/4), 6-2 to Khachanov on Wednesday night, he called umpire Fergus Murphy a “fuckin’ tool”, refused to shake his hand while spitting in the direction of the chair.

He had earlier been handed a time violation, docked a point and was warned again after leaving the court without permission at the end of the second set after which he was seen to destroy two racquets in the corridor.

Kyrgios screamed at Murphy that he was the “worst umpire, hands down”.

The various Kyrgios infractions included four fines of 20,000 each for unsportsmanlike conduct plus another 20,000 for verbal abuse.

“In addition to the on-site fines, the ATP is looking further into what happened during and immediately after the match to see if additional action is warranted,” said an ATP statement.

“That could result in an additional fine and/or suspension.”

The following provides a breakdown of the penalties incurred by Kyrgios:

Ball Abuse (Warning)
Unsportsmanlike Conduct (Point Penalty) – US$ 20,000 fine
Leaving the Court – US$ 3,000 fine
Audible Obscenity – US$ 5,000 fine
Unsportsmanlike Conduct – US$ 5,000 fine
Unsportsmanlike Conduct – US$ 20,000 fine
Verbal Abuse – US$ 20,000 fine
Unsportsmanlike Conduct – US$ 20,000 fine
Unsportsmanlike Conduct – US$ 20,000 fine

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Federer knocked out, Djokovic avoids upset loss in Cincinnati Masters

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Roger federer.

Washington: Seven-time champion Roger Federer bowed out of the ongoing Cincinnati Masters after facing a shocking defeat to Russian qualifier Andrey Rublev in his Round of 16 match.

The 21-year-old Rublev defeated Federer 6-3, 6-4 in just 62 minutes on Thursday for his second top 5 victory in as many months.

The 62-minute defeat was Federer’s fastest in more than 16 years, since his 54-minute defeat against Franco Squillari in the first round of 2003 Sydney, reported the ATP Tour website.

“He was super clean. Defence, offence, serving well. Didn’t give me anything. He was everywhere. It was tough for me, but an excellent match by him. I was impressed… I think I just have to play better overall to hang with him,” said Federer while praising Rublev.

Rublev is through to his first ATP Masters 1000 quarter-final and will meet Coupe Rogers finalist and countryman Daniil Medvedev for a place in the semi-finals.

Meanwhile, top seed and defending champion Novak Djokovic eased through to the last eight after defeating Pablo Carreno Busta of Spain 6-3, 6-4 in his Thursday”s clash.

The 32-year-old will next meet France’s Lucas Pouille in a rematch of their Australian Open semi-final in January, which was a straight-sets win for Djokovic.

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