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Serena Williams advances to Rogers Cup semifinals

Serena Williams advances to Rogers Cup semifinals”

Serena Williams (USA) hits a ball to Naomi Osaka (not pictured) during the Rogers Cup tennis tournament at Aviva Centre.

There was no such drama in Toronto, where Williams broke Osaka for a 5-3 lead in the first and closed out the opening set with a service victor.

Williams will next face qualifier Marie Bouzkova, who advanced when Wimbledon champion and holder Simona Halep retired from their match with a left Achilles problem after dropping the first set 6-4.

The Japanese will pass Ashleigh Barty on the WTA ranking list to become world no. 1 again but her tennis is miles from where it stood in NY and Melbourne, delivering another feeble performance today to suffer the first loss against Serena after those rock-solid wins in Miami and NY a year ago.

Williams fired 12 aces and didn't face a breakpoint as she beat Osaka for the first time in three meetings - avenging her shock loss in last year's controversial US Open final in which the American star has docked a point and a game after losing her temper when warned about coaching.

Alexandrova broke Williams again to open the second set, but the U.S. star pulled level in the sixth game and broke again in the 12th to advance after 91 minutes. "It hurt, but it wasn't the end of the world".

They held from there until the final game of the first set, when the Russian's eighth double fault handed Williams the set after 46 minutes.

The victor of 23 Grand Slam titles hit 12 aces, the last of them on match points, and did not concede a break point to qualify for the semi-finals of this Canadian Premier Category event (just in below the Grand Slams).

Many fails hailed it as the best match that Williams has played in her comeback.

"I'd say more or less tennis grandma", Williams said about herself after the straight sets win against Osaka. "It's definitely not where I want to be, but I'm getting there". "And today I felt it more, so that's why I chose to retire", said Halep.

Bouzkova notched her third straight win over a Grand Slam champion, having beaten former US Open victor Sloane Stephens and former French Open champ Jelena Ostapenko.

Although Osaka called it "a little bit bittersweet" at the time, she was excited to play her idol again.

"And today I felt it more, so that's why I made a decision to retire", said Halep, no doubt exercising extra caution with the final Grand Slam of the year due to start on August 26.

Pliskova eliminated Estonia's Anett Kontaveit 6-3, 7-5 to set up a last-eight clash with rising Canadian star Bianca Andreescu, who outlasted fifth-seeded Dutchwoman Kiki Bertens 6-1, 6-7 (7/9), 6-4.

Up next for Andreescu will be unseeded American Sofia Kenin, who extended her impressive Toronto run with a 7-6 (2) 6-4 win over Ukrainian former champion Elina Svitolina.



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