Serena, Osaka book showdown in Toronto; Nadal up but Thiem out - GulfToday

Serena, Osaka book showdown in Toronto; Nadal up but Thiem out

Naomi Osaka

Naomi Osaka in action against Iga Swiatek during their third round match of the Rogers Cup in Toronto on Thursday. Agence France-Presse

Toronto: Serena Williams and Japan’s Naomi Osaka booked a rematch of last year’s US Open final in the WTA Toronto quarter-finals after straight-set triumphs on Thursday.

However, Daniil Medvedev ended the run of Dominic Thiem at the ATP Montreal Masters on Friday with a 6-3, 6-1 upset victory that advanced the Russian into the semi-finals.

The 56-minute triumph handed the eighth seed revenge for a loss he took last April to the Austrian second seed in the Barcelona clay final.

Thiem won his first career matches this week in Canada after going 0-5 in the country over the past five years.

Reigning US and Australian Open champion Osaka broke at love in the final game to defeat Polish teen Iga Swiatek 7-6 (7/4), 6-4 after one hour and 51 minutes.

World number 10 Williams was broken twice and dropped the first three games in 10 minutes then battled back to defeat Russia’s 48th-ranked Ekaterina Alexandrova 7-5, 6-4 in 91 minutes.

That set the stage for Williams, a 37-year-old American who will try for a record-tying 24th Grand Slam singles title at the upcoming US Open, to face Osaka on Friday.

“I’ve been actually looking forward to playing her for a while,” Williams said. “She has had a great year early in the season and she’s still doing pretty good.”

It will be their first match since the controversial finish to their Grand Slam showdown last year in New York.

Defending champion and fourth seed Simona Halep of Romania, coming off a Wimbledon title last month, beat Russia’s Svetlana Kuznetsova 6-2, 6-1 to book a quarter-final against Czech qualifier Marie Bouzkova, who ousted Latvia’s Jelena Ostapenko 6-2, 6-2.

Rafael Nadal meanwhile stepped closer to a record 35th Masters 1000 title on Thursday, dispatching Argentina’s Guido Pella 6-3, 6-4 Thursday to power into the ATP Montreal quarter-finals.

The Spanish world number two has now notched the most wins in the elite series, with his 379th Masters victory surpassing Roger Federer by one.

Nadal, an 18-time Grand Slam singles champion, could add another Masters footnote to his epic resume if he successfully defends his Canadian crown for the all-time trophy mark.

He ended the evening with an ace out wide on his fourth match point, moving into his ninth Canadian quarter-final.

Nadal will play Friday for a semi-final berth against Italy’s Fabio Fognini after the seventh seed beat France’s Adrian Mannarino 6-2, 7-5.

Agence France-Presse

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