Serena Williams moved into the rogers cup semi-finals on Friday with a maiden career victory over Naomi Osaka in their first meeting since the American’s infamous row with an umpire overshadowed last year’s U.S. open final.
the 6-3 6-4 loss continued a run of poor form for osaka but there was some good news later in the day when karolina pliskova lost to ensure the u.s and australian open champion would replace ash barty as world number one next week.
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 37-year-old is looking to shore up her hardcourt game for the aug. 26-sept.8 u.s. open where she will chase a record-tying 24th career grand slam title.
Czech 21-year-old bouzkova’s breakout run in Toronto will carry into the weekend after Halep, who had been complaining about her achilles all week, retired from their match.
In earlier quarter-final action, canadian teenager bianca Andreescu played through leg pain to keep her dream run alive with a 6-0 2-6 6-4 upset of Czech pliskova.
andreescu looked to be in trouble when she gingerly returned to the court from a medical timeout late in the second set with her right thigh heavily taped and her movement hampered.
but the 19-year-old, who shot to prominence with her indian wells triumph in march, went toe-to-toe with her more experienced opponent to win by serving out to love.
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.