Saturday’s Set Points, Toronto 2019: Andreescu keeps rolling, Serena battles past inspired Bouzkova

A fantastic week in Toronto is drawing to a close with the singles final all set for Sunday between Serena Williams and Bianca Andreescu. After Toronto, we move straight onto Cincinnati where there is another fabulous draw primed. Looking forward to Cincy which is one of my favourite tennis weeks of the year! Read on for the highlights from Saturday’s semi-finals at the 2019 Rogers Cup.

Match reviews 🎾

Bianca Andreescu d. Sofia Kenin, 6-4 7-6(5) (SF)

Sofia Kenin and Bianca Andreescu continue to showcase themselves as two of the best competitors on the WTA tour. In the first of the semi-finals, Andreescu toughed out the win to reach the final of her home tournament. It was an exciting all-court contest with a tense and gripping conclusion.

For the first set and a half, Andreescu was generally more successful with her variety and played with fewer peaks and troughs as Kenin committed many more unforced errors. Andreescu was unable to serve out the match at 6-4 *5-3, showing signs of nerves. After an off-court medical time-out for Kenin, Andreescu chalked up three match points at 6-4 6-5*. Kenin saved all three, the first two with nerves of steel, and then forced the tiebreak. Andreescu had started to visibly tire and tense up, but somehow managed to produce a last aggressive charge in the tiebreak, going after her shots and sealing the win on her fifth match point.

Kenin is certainly on my radar for the US Open. I’m surprised that Andreescu’s body has held up for this gruelling week having not played competitive tennis since the French Open. This has been another astonishing run!!!

Serena Williams d. Marie Bouzkova, 1-6 6-3 6-3 (SF)

Serena Williams was pushed all the way in her semi-final, fighting from a set down against an inspired, Marie Bouzkova. I thought the Czech played a perfect opening set. Most impressive was the depth on Bouzkova’s groundstrokes. She also threw in some high balls, scrambled brilliantly as she tracked balls from side-to-side and was effective behind the first serve, dropping just one point behind it in the first set.

Serena increasingly won more points behind her serve in the second set and landed more meaningful returns as Bouzkova threw in a handful of unforced errors. Into a third set and the pair fought out two deuce games from 1-1 – Serena won them both. From there, I thought Serena played her best level of the match. The first serve was potent and she started to step into the court and strike the ball with authority.

A superb effort from Bouzkova to cap a dreamy week. I think this was a huge win for Serena. She has lost a couple of big matches to counter-punchers since her return to the tour and she had to fight extremely hard to turn this match around.

Stat watch 🔢

Serena will play her first non-Slam final since 2016 when she defeated Madison Keys in the final of Rome.

Hot shots of the day 🔥

This was CLUTCH from Kenin down match point.

An example of Bouzkova’s scrambling and defence.

Handshakes and hugs 🤗

Two nice handshakes!

Recommended media 📺

Andreescu was very emotional during her post-match interview.

Tomorrow’s OOP ⭐

The final will be contested between Bianca Andreescu and Serena Williams at 1:30pm local time in Canada. Serena’s going for her first title since returning to the tour following the birth of her first child, while Andreescu’s playing at home and trying to complete a fairytale run in her first tournament back since May due to a shoulder injury. If Andreescu’s body holds up, I think her variety could unsettle Serena. Should be a good one!

Follow Moo’s Tennis Blog on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram. Feature photo by Omar Boraby.

5 thoughts on “Saturday’s Set Points, Toronto 2019: Andreescu keeps rolling, Serena battles past inspired Bouzkova

  1. Serena moved so well against Bouzkova. She needs to be wary of Andreescu. If she comes out thinking about winning and playing nervy, as she has in the post baby Slam finals, Bianca is going to make a quick start with a lot of crowd support. Physically, I think if Serena starts off well, it’s going to be tough for Bianca to pull another big upset!

    I also think if Bianca wants to be a TOP player, she needs to look after her body better, try and win matches a little quicker. We’ve already seen one reasonably lengthy haitus for injury this year (which was probably well timed, since she had a lot of eyes on her). She doesn’t want to do a Bencic and end up almost making the big league and then dropping out of contention for 3/4 years!

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      • If she’s smart, she will rest and focus on the US Open. She doesn’t really need to play Cincy, regardless of whether she wins today. She has accumulated so many points over so few events this year (second only to Serena, really!). A few more good performances at the US Open and Asia and she will be knocking on the door of the top 10 by the end of the year.

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  2. The home support is doing wonders for Andreescu, but she’s still got some work to do in the mental department to tighten up her game. She needs to play smart and fast against Serena, that’s my feeling.

    Liked by 1 person

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