The 2019 Rogers Cup has been a great tournament so far for the women with many close matches, new players coming through, home favourites rolling, upsets among the band of seeds but stability too with four of the top eight making the quarter-finals. Read on for a Set Points round-up from Friday’s quarter-finals in Toronto.
Match reviews 🎾
Sofia Kenin d. Elina Svitolina, 7-6(2) 6-4 (QF)
Sofia Kenin continued her superb year by reaching a first Premier level semi-final. Kenin found herself down 0-4 in the first set but soon locked in as she cut out the early errors and played aggressively, managing to open up the court. Kenin played a superb first set tiebreak and was then clutch throughout the second set as she saved a total of seven break points across three service games.
I am just so impressed with Kenin who was able to rely on her first serve when serving out the match. At 20, I think she’s already one of the best competitors on WTA tour. For Svitolina, it was another tough loss having had a favourable lead in the opening set. Even with her run to the semi-finals at Wimbledon, I feel she’s lacking a bit of belief in her game. Her coach, Andrew Bettles, tried to gee her up at the end, telling her to be more positive and stop being so hard on herself.
Bianca Andreescu d. Karolina Pliskova, 6-0 2-6 6-4 (QF)
Talking of great competitors… in her first tournament back since the French Open after a second spell on the sidelines for a shoulder injury, Bianca Andreescu is tearing up the tour again. Andreescu battled through a leg/groin injury to see off Karolina Pliskova in three wild sets to advance to the semi-finals of her home tournament.
Pliskova rebounded impressively from a first set bagel (!!!) and looked to have the upper hand on serve in the decider. Andreescu kept plugging away with tenacious defence and variety. Pliskova buckled with a poor, rushed service game at 4-4 and then Andreescu served it out like with a champ. Running out of superlatives for Andreescu. To produce such gutsy tennis against top opposition and having played so little tennis since March is really special.
Serena Williams d. Naomi Osaka, 6-3 6-4 (QF)
Serena Williams recorded her first win over Naomi Osaka and a first top ten win since the Australian Open with a straight sets victory over the soon-to-be world number one. It was an excellent performance from Serena who looked sharp in all departments and was especially strong on serve where she hit 12 aces and won 82% of points behind her first serve. I thought Osaka was a tad conservative, perhaps because of the wind, and up against a sharp Serena. A positive week though for Osaka who shared on her social media that she was feeling happy after this tournament in Toronto.
Marie Bouzkova d. Simona Halep, 6-4 ret. (QF)
Marie Bouzkova is having a banner week in Toronto. The 21-year-old Czech player advanced to the semi-finals as Simona Halep was forced to retire after the first set with what looked like an achilles issue? Hopefully just precautionary for Halep but a shame as it would have been an exciting to see a Wimby rematch had she won. Bouzkova’s dream week continues and now she gets a shot at Serena…
Stat watch 🔢
All of Andreescu’s victories this week have come in three sets with all four matches going 6-4 or beyond in the deciding sets. Via Tennis Abstract, Andreescu has improved her three set record in 2019 to 15-3 and she’s now 6-0 against top ten opposition 👏.
R1: Andreescu d. Eugenie Bouchard, 4-6 6-1 6-4
R2: Andreescu d. Daria Kasatkina, 5-7 6-2 7-5
R3: Andreescu d. Kiki Bertens, 6-1 6-7(7) 6-4
QF: Andreescu d. Karolina Pliskova, 6-0 2-6 6-4
Handshakes and hugs 🤗
Ash Barty and Victoria Azarenka are into the semi-finals of the doubles in Toronto.
Favourite snap 📸
Adore this photo of Simona Halep from her third round win over Svetlana Kuznetsova.
Press highlights 📰
Serena’s press conference from Thursday was a hoot!
Recommended listening 🎧
The latest episode of the Tennis with an Accent podcast features interviews with Sofia Kenin and Kiki Bertens’s coach, Raemon Sluiter. Interested to hear Kenin reel off all her tough losses. You don’t often hear players openly discuss losses like that.
Recommended media 📺
Another fun interview from the Rogers Cup social media pages where Barty and Azarenka talked about some of their worst weather experiences on the court. Ash also called Vika a “cruisy chick” 😂.
Tomorrow’s OOP ⭐
Saturday’s semis will see Bianca Andreescu take on Sofia Kenin and Serena Williams play Marie Bouzkova. Tough to call Kenin-Andreescu – I thought Andreescu’s run was going to end every round from the second round! I feel like Kenin should win but Andreescu is just in the zone.