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Toronto delighted by Andreescu, Williams Wins

Karthik Swaminathan

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Serena Williams made a winning return to Toronto at the Rogers Cup. Photos: WTA

Home hope continues winning return post injury while Serena celebrated a winning return

Toronto: Having lost the opening set, the Canadian teen rallied from behind to take down Russian Daria Kasatkina in front of the home crowd—advancing thanks to a 5-7, 6-2, 7-5 victory. Setting up a blockbuster third-round matchup with World No. 5 Kiki Bertens at Rogers Cup. sports news  sports news headlines Sports update

Andreescu was the least consistent player of the two in the opening set. With Kasatkina trailing 4-3, the Russian managed to fight off two break points to hold serve. She’d follow that up with a break of her own to give herself a chance to serve out for the set. But the Canadian fought back. Andreescu saved two set points, one which was done thanks to a powerful forehand winner. She would then convert her second break point of the set to knot things up at 5-5. sports news  sports news headlines Sports update

However, Kasatkina would not be denied in this see-saw of a set. She managed to win eight of the next 10 points to get the break back and finally closed out the opener on her third set point. sports news  sports new

Bianca Andreescu ahead of her slug-fest against Daria Kasatkina

The Canadian teen would find a little more rhythm in the second set. With the set tied at 1, she saved a couple break points and managed to hold serve thanks to a forehand winner. After a couple double faults cost Andreescu, now leading 3-2, she managed to regain the break by placing a beautiful volley into the open court. From there, Andreescu would close out the set by winning four straight points. sports news  sports news headlines

In the third and decisive set, the Canadian was the first one to draw blood. In a game that held seven deuces, Andreescu finally managed to convert on her sixth break point to grab a 3-1 lead. Kasatkina didn’t let that bring her down though. The 22-year-old Russian converted two break points over a stretch of four games to jump in front 5-3. sports news  sports news headlines Sports update

But with her back against the wall, the 19 year old from Mississauga responded in turn. After holding serve to get within one, she tied things up at 5 thanks to four straight return points. She would then take the lead on her next service game, before closing out the match with a break point—much to the delight of the Canadian fans in attendance.

Andreescu is now set to face Bertens for the first time in her professional career. Her latest victory also improves the Canadian’s match record to 23-4 in 2019. Prior to Wednesday, she had advanced to the second round at Rogers Cup after defeating her compatriot Eugenie Bouchard 4-6, 6-1, 6-4 on Tuesday night.

Playing in Canada’s most populated city for the first time in four years, the 23-time Grand Slam champion bested Belgium’s Elise Mertens in straight sets 6-3, 6-3. This latest victory improves Williams’ record at Rogers Cup to 31-4. Serena was also playing her first match since losing in the Wimbledon final to Simona Halep.

sports update

Simona Halep had to shake off post-Wimbledon rust against Jennifer Brady

Osaka in Position to Become World No.1
It might not be long before Naomi Osaka is back on top as the World No. 1.

The Japanese star moved that much closer to regaining the top ranking, after Tatjana Maria retired from their second-round match due to a left abdominal injury. The two-time Grand Slam champion was playing for the first time since losing in the first round at Wimbledon to Yulia Putinseva.

With Ashleigh Barty’s surprising exit in the second round at Rogers Cup and by virtue of this match alone, the Australian will be displaced at the top of the world rankings. That is a certainty.

But there is no guarantee that Osaka will be the one to take that title. A deep run at Rogers Cup by Karolina Pliskova could derail any efforts made by the 21 year-old from Japan to regain the World No. 1. Sports update

Among the other notable winners in Toronto on Wednesday were former champions Elina Svitolina (2017) and Belinda Bencic (2015). With a spot in the quarter-finals on the line, both Bencic and Svitolina will try to extend their Canadian match-winning streaks during Thursday’s day session. Sports update

The No.3-seed Karolina Pliskova Pliskova took down American Alison Riske. A deep-run by Pliskova in Toronto could allow her to become the new World No. 1.

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Naomi Osaka can reclaim the No. 1 ranking this week

Women’s Singles – Second Round
[2] N. Osaka (JPN) d [Q] T. Maria (GER) 6–2 0–0 Retired
[3] K. Pliskova (CZE) d [Q] A. Riske (USA) 6–4 6–7(4) 6–2
[4] S. Halep (ROU) d [Q] J. Brady (USA) 4–6 7–5 7–6(5)
[6] E. Svitolina (UKR) d K. Siniakova (CZE) 6–3 3–6 6–3
[8] S. Williams (USA) d E. Mertens (BEL) 6–3 6–3
[11] B. Bencic (SUI) d J. Goerges (GER) 5–7 6–3 6–4
[Q] I. Swiatek (POL) d [15] C. Wozniacki (DEN) 1–6 6–3 6–4
[16] A. Kontaveit (EST) d C. Suárez Navarro (ESP) 7–5 3–1 Retired
D. Yastremska (UKR) d V. Azarenka (BLR) 7–5 7–5
B. Andreescu (CAN) d D. Kasatkina (RUS) 5–7 6–2 7–5
J. Ostapenko (LAT) d A. Pavlyuchenkova (RUS) 6–2 2–6 6–4
[WC] S. Kuznetsova (RUS) d D. Vekic (CRO) 7–6(4) 6–3
[Q] E. Alexandrova (RUS) d [LL] S. Zhang (CHN) 6–4 6–3

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.