Sports

Serena dominates Osaka to reach Toronto semis

Serena dominates Osaka to reach Toronto semis

Serena Williams has gained revenge over Naomi Osaka in the first meeting between the tennis stars since the infamous 2018 US Open final.

Naomi Osaka will now fly Cincinnati, Ohio before she begins the race to defend her title at the US Open.

In a rematch of last year's controversial US Open final won by Osaka, eighth-seeded Williams was firing on all cylinders against the second-seeded Japanese star.

The 23-time Grand Slam champion said the familiarity with Osaka's game helped her secure the victory at the Rogers Cup.

But since then, Osaka split with with her coach Sascha Bajin and has been unable to refind the form that saw her storm her way to a world number one ranking, suffering early eliminations in multiple tournamentsincluding a first round exit at the 2019 Wimbledon Championships, before coming unstuck against Williams in straight sets 6-3, 6-4 this week, in Toronto.

Williams won in straight sets, 6-3, 6-4, to advance to the Rogers Cup semifinal in Toronto, and is one win away from the competition final, where the victor will receive 1,000 ranking points.

"We haven't played since NY, which was a really good match for her", said Williams, adding that she feels her own game is coming on as she'd hoped in the buildup to this year's US Open at Flushing Meadows.

Osaka said Williams played "amazing, which is what she does", and the victor agreed her level had improved from the pair of 2018 defeats.

"We haven't played since NY which was a really good match for her and I just wanted to come out and win a set this time because she's beaten me twice", the 37-year-old joked.

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"I honestly don't really think there was ups and downs", Osaka said.

Osaka will go from No. 2 to No. 1 on Monday when the new ranking is announced.

Andreescu played her fourth consecutive three-set match.

"And this is someone that I kind of modeled my game after when I was little".

"This is someone that I looked up to forever", said the two-time Grand Slam champion. But also, at the same time, I feel like that's a position that I think requires a lot of work and a lot of just hardheadedness.

"I'm getting there. It's definitely not where I want to be, but I'm getting there".

Canadian teen Bianca Andreescu ousted Pliskova 6-0, 2-6, 6-4 after one hour and 49 minutes to doom the Czech s bid to regain the top spot for the first time since 2017.

Andreescu advanced to a semi-final clash with American Sofia Kenin, who defeated Ukraine sixth seed Elina Svitolina 7-6 (7/2), 6-4.

Andreescu shot to prominence with a victory at Indian Wells in March, but she had been sidelined by a shoulder injury since the French Open in May. "So this is such a big learning experience for me".