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Blockbuster Quarterfinals Await Audiences at Rogers Cup

Karthik Swaminathan

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Andreescu Sets Up Showdown with Pliskova in Quarterfinals

Toronto: Following a weather delay, the 19-year-old from Mississauga came out and defeated World No. 5 Kiki Bertens for the first time in her professional career, winning a tough three-setter 6-1, 6-7 (6), 6-4. Bertens managed to save three match points, before finally Andreescu converted on her fourth match point to close it out nearly three and half hours after it started. The Canadian sets up a showdown with the No. 3 seed Karolina Pliskova in the quarterfinals in what promises to be an electric match between two players who have never met before.

On top of the fact that Andreescu will have home-court advantage on Friday, she has been absolutely dominant against the WTA’s Top-10 in 2019. With her latest win against Bertens, Andreescu has a perfect 5-0 record against the Top-10 and a 24-4 match record this season.

On the other side of things, the current World No. 3 will present many challenges for the versatile Canadian. In her 6-3, 7-5 victory over Anett Kontaveit, Pliskova leaned on her strengths. It’s no secret that Pliskova holds one of the WTA’s best serves. She came into this event having notched 346 aces, 17 more than the next closest player (Bertens).

Third seed Karolina Pliskova defeated Anett Kontaveit of Estonia 6-3, 7-5 to reach the Rogers Cup quarterfinals.

Pliskova enters the quarters with plenty of experience. The five-time winner on tour has played in six main draws at Rogers Cup. However, she’s never gone past the quarterfinals at this major Canadian stop.

If Pliskova were to get past Andreescu and reach the semis at Rogers Cup for the first time in her career, she would have a chance at becoming the new World No. 1.

Svitolina Extends Toronto Winning Streak to Advance

Speaking of 2017, the last champion of this event in Toronto also advanced to the quarterfinals on Thursday. In clash of champions on National Bank Grandstand, World No. 7 Elina Svitolina took down Belinda Bencic in straight sets 6-4, 6-2. It marks the seventh match in a row that the Ukrainian has won in Toronto.

Elina Svitolina overcame ankle anxieties to beat Belinda Bencic

Svitolina will take on American Sofia Kenin in the quarterfinals on Friday and Kenin could be primed for another upset. She looked impressive in her 57-minute, 6-2, 6-2 effort against another Ukrainian in Dayana Yastremska. Kenin has looked impressive in her Rogers Cup debut and in recent months. She scored the biggest win of her career earlier in the week, in a come-from-behind victory over the reigning World No. 1 Ashleigh Barty 6-7(5), 6-3, 6-4.

Serena Scores Historic Win
It was a historic night at Rogers Cup in Toronto.
Thanks to a 7-5, 6-4 straight-sets victory over Russian qualifier Ekaterina Alexandrova, Serena Williams earned her 32nd career victory on Canadian soil to match the tournament record held by Arantxa Sanchez Vicario in the Open Era.

Williams is set to play World No. 2 Naomi Osaka on Friday, setting the stage for the first meeting between Williams and Osaka since their epic in the final of last year’s US Open. It was there that Osaka outplayed the 23-time Grand Slam champion in a 6-2, 6-4 victory to earn her first career Slam.

Friday will mark the eighth time in Williams’ nine Rogers Cup appearances that she has at least reached the quarterfinals. The only time she failed to do it came back in 2005, when she was forced to withdraw from her third-round match against Flavia Pennetta with a knee injury. This is also the only occasion where she didn’t reach the semifinals in her career at Rogers Cup.

Women’s Singles – Third Round
[2] N. Osaka (JPN) d [Q] I. Swiatek (POL) 7–6(4) 6–4
[3] K. Pliskova (CZE) d [16] A. Kontaveit (EST) 6–3 7–5
[4] S. Halep (ROU) d [WC] S. Kuznetsova (RUS) 6–2 6–1
B. Andreescu (CAN) d [5] K. Bertens (NED) 6–1 6–7(7) 6–4
[6] E. Svitolina (UKR) d [11] B. Bencic (SUI) 6–2 6–4
[8] S. Williams (USA) d [Q] E. Alexandrova (RUS) 7–5 6–4
S. Kenin (USA) d D. Yastremska (UKR) 6–2 6–2
[Q] M. Bouzkova (CZE) d J. Ostapenko (LAT) 6–2 6–2

Karthik Swaminathan is a burgeoning sports analyst, his views on top-tier tennis and cricket events, including Grand Slams and the World Cup, have been featured on live television. Karthik has also been published on leading magazines and web portals such as Wisden, Golf Digest and Sports Illustrated. His other interests include astronomy, darts and anything tech.