WTA

Serena powers past Osaka, Halep's title defence ends

By Sports Desk August 09, 2019

Serena Williams is the last seed standing at the Rogers Cup as defending champion Simona Halep made a quarter-final exit on Friday.

Williams was in impressive form as she powered past Naomi Osaka in their first meeting since last year's controversial US Open final.

The American great is the only seed into the last four, with Halep's title defence coming to an end at the WTA Premier tournament.

 

WILLIAMS WONDERFUL AGAINST OSAKA

Williams has apologised for her meltdown at Flushing Meadows last year and the 23-time grand slam champion produced a brilliant display against Osaka.

Osaka had won her previous two matches against Williams in straight sets, but the 37-year-old secured a 6-3 6-4 victory over the Japanese star on Friday.

Williams may have been expecting to face Halep in a rematch of their Wimbledon final, but the Romanian bowed out against Marie Bouzkova.

The Czech qualifier continued her run, winning the first set 6-4 when Halep retired injured.

PLISKOVA, SVITOLINA STUNNED

Karolina Pliskova also exited in the quarter-finals, suffering a 6-0 2-6 6-4 loss to Canadian Bianca Andreescu.

That result meant Osaka, who later lost to Williams, will replace Ashleigh Barty atop the world rankings.

Andreescu will face Sofia Kenin after the American upset Ukrainian sixth seed Elina Svitolina 7-6 (7-2) 6-4.

At 37, Williams is by far the oldest player left in the draw, with the others – Bouzkova (21), Andreescu (19) and Kenin (20) all under 22.

Related items

  • Australian Open 2020: Roger Federer results and form ahead of quarter-final with Tennys Sandgren Australian Open 2020: Roger Federer results and form ahead of quarter-final with Tennys Sandgren

    It is getting to the business end of the Australian Open for Roger Federer, who meets Tennys Sandgren in the quarter-finals on Tuesday.

    Federer banished the demons of last year's shock fourth-round exit by topping Marton Fucsovics in Melbourne on Sunday.

    A 20-time grand slam winner and six-time champion at Melbourne Park, Swiss maestro Federer is eyeing his first major title since the 2018 Australian Open.

    As Federer prepares for the last eight, we look at the 38-year-old's form.

     

    Form and results

    Like his five-setter with John Millman, Federer dropped the opening set against Fucsovics on Sunday. However, third seed Federer managed to avoid going the distance as he steamrolled his unheralded Hungarian opponent in two hours, 11 minutes. The veteran used 44 winners to vanquish Fucsovics under the Rod Laver Arena lights.

    R1: bt Johnson 6-3 6-2 6-2
    R2: bt Krajinovic 6-1 6-4 6-1
    R3: bt Millman 4-6 7-6 (7-2) 6-4 4-6 7-6 (10-8)
    R4: bt Fucsovics 4-6 6-1 6-2 6-2

    Next up

    Sandgren finds himself in a familiar position. The 28-year-old will contest his second Australian Open quarter-final following his 2018 run. Sandgren upstaged 12th seed Fabio Fognini in four sets on Sunday. This will be the first meeting between Sandgren and Federer.

    Draw

    A blockbuster semi-final against defending champion Novak Djokovic is on the horizon for Federer. Djokovic must see off Milos Raonic to make that happen. The iconic pair played out a remarkable Wimbledon final, won by Djokovic, last year.

    What he said

    "I'm very happy how I'm feeling considering my age, considering everything I've gone through throughout my career. The toughness of the first real tough match of the season for me after having not played these kinds of matches for some time, it's nice to see that the work I did in the off-season paid off."

  • Australian Open 2020: Novak Djokovic results and form ahead of quarter-final with Milos Raonic Australian Open 2020: Novak Djokovic results and form ahead of quarter-final with Milos Raonic

    Novak Djokovic's form is ominous as the Australian Open champion prepares to face Milos Raonic in the quarter-finals on Tuesday.

    After a wobble in the opening round, second seed Djokovic has dominated his last three opponents en route to an 11th quarter-final appearance at Melbourne Park.

    Eyeing a record-extending eighth Australian Open title, Djokovic once again looms as the player to beat in Melbourne.

    We take a closer look at Djokovic as the 16-time grand slam champion prepares to meet 32nd seed Raonic on Rod Laver Arena.

    Form and results

    Stop Djokovic if you can. The world number two swept aside 14th seed Diego Schwartzman on Sunday. While the Argentinian proved a tougher test than Tatsuma Ito and Yoshihito Nishioka, Djokovic was far superior in the Melbourne sun. Hitting 38 winners and 31 unforced errors, the Serbian star closed out proceedings in just over two hours.

    R1: bt Struff 7-6 (7-5) 6-2 2-6 6-1
    R2: bt Ito 6-1 6-4 6-2
    R3: bt Nishioka 6-3 6-2 6-2
    R4: bt Schwartzman 6-3 6-4 6-4

    Next up

    Former world number three Raonic stands in the way of Djokovic and another trip to the semi-finals - a repeat of the 2015 quarter-final clash in Melbourne. Raonic blitzed Marin Cilic in straight sets to advance on Sunday. However, the Canadian's 0-9 record against Djokovic is a concern.

    Draw

    It is the match everyone is dreaming of. Djokovic against 20-time slam winner Roger Federer in the semis. That mouthwatering showdown could happen if Djokovic maintains his perfect record against Raonic and Federer gets past Tennys Sandgren.

    What he said

    "It obviously helps when you have a success on a global level. Of course, it has a very positive impact in your country. Serbia didn't really have a successful or long tennis tradition, before [Slobodan] Zivojinovic and Monica Seles. That was probably the first generation of successful tennis players coming from our country."

  • Kobe Bryant dead: Nadal and ATP stars mourn passing of Lakers legend Kobe Bryant dead: Nadal and ATP stars mourn passing of Lakers legend

    Rafael Nadal led tributes from the ATP Tour following the tragic death of Los Angeles Lakers great Kobe Bryant.

    Bryant, 41, and his 13-year-old daughter Gianna died following a helicopter crash in Calabasas, California on Sunday, NBA commissioner Adam Silver confirmed.

    Five-time NBA champion Bryant transcended basketball after his selection in the 1996 draft, going on to spend his entire 20-year career with the Lakers, where he claimed two Finals MVPs to go with his 2008 Most Valuable Player honour.

    As the sporting world mourns his death, 19-time grand slam champion and world number one Rafael Nadal tweeted: "I woke up this morning with the horrible news of the tragic death of one of the greatest sportsman in the world. Kobe Bryant, his daughter Gianna and other passengers. My condolences to his wife and families. I am in shock."

    Rod Laver - one of the greatest tennis players of all time with 11 major titles - wrote: "Terribly sad to wake up to this news today. RIP Kobe Bryant. Too young. Deepest condolences to family and friends of the sporting legend."

    Australian Open champion Novak Djokovic had only spoken about Bryant - who attended last year's US Open - and his impact last week.

    Prior to Sunday's fourth-round win over Diego Schwartzman at Melbourne Park, 16-time slam champion Djokovic provided an insight into Bryant following a difficult spell in 2018, which saw the Serbian star drop out of the top 20 due to an elbow injury.

    "Kobe has been one of my mentors," Djokovic told ESPN. "I've had several phone conversations with him and also of course when we see each other live in the past couple of years. 

    "When I was going through the injury with my elbow and struggling to mentally and emotionally handle all of these different things that were happening to me and dropping in the rankings and then having to work my way up, he was one of the people who was really there for me to give me some very valuable advice and guidelines to kind of believe and trust in myself, trust the process that I'll be back.

    "I'm very grateful to him for being there for me, for being very supportive. I love Kobe, who doesn't? He's an amazing guy and one of the best basketball players and athletes of all-time."

© 2020 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.