Just four women remain in contention at the Rogers Cup in Toronto. In the top half of the draw Sofia Kenin, who shocked sixth seed Elina Svitolina will take on Bianca Andreescu after the Canadian’s battling win over third seed Karolina Pliskova. In the bottom half, Serena Williams played perhaps the best match since winning the 2017 Australian Open to off second seed Naomi Osaka, whilst the qualifier Maria Bouzkova advanced courtesy of Simona Halep’s retirement. But who will book their place in Sunday’s showpiece final?
Toronto Rogers Cup Semifinal Predictions
Sofia Kenin vs Bianca Andreescu
Head-to-head: Kenin 1-1 Andreescu
Kenin’s game has three key strengths. Firstly, Kenin plays the point the same way regardless of the score line. She plays the same sort of intelligent tennis whether it is the first point of the match or the last. Secondly, Kenin has won of the best lobs in the women’s game. Thirdly, the American’s return is relentlessly effective. Not unlike the great Novak Djokovic, Kenin doesn’t look for outright winners. Instead, she aims for depth and starts the point again on something like even terms and trusts in her solid shot making.
But Andreescu’s variety and power make her a very dangerous opponent, though a heavily wrapped thigh raises questions about the Canadian’s fitness. But, we have seen this before. Remember Indian Wells? She was able to get across the finish line in March in the final against Angelique Kerber despite similar injury worries. Competing in spite of fatigue, winning in spite of injury are fast becoming her trademarks. Against a player on home soil with the support of the crowd, it won’t be an easy outing for Kenin.
This one seems certain to go the distance with both women surely desperate to reach the final. There looks to be little to separate the pair and, as a result, this match will likely be decided on razor thin margins. But where Andreescu may have the slight edge is in her ability to play through pain, something the fulsome backing of her compatriots in the stands will surely help with.
Prediction: Andreescu in 3
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Serena Williams vs Maria Bouzkova
Head-to-head: first meeting
Williams came out firing in the quarterfinals. Her movement was as good as its been since her return from maternity leave whilst her depth left Osaka constantly on the back foot. And with 12 aces and an 82% success rate behind her first serve, this was undoubtedly Williams best serving of the tournament. In fact, she faced no break points while claiming two out of five from Osaka. If the American superstar can maintain this laser sharp focus and command of the court, she’s surely poised to lift her fourth Rogers Cup trophy.
Six matches without dropping a set – Bouzkova, the 21-year-old qualifier has truly earned this spot in the semifinals. In her quarterfinal bout against fourth seed and Wimbledon champion Halep, the Czech jumped out to a quick 4-0 lead. Halep stormed back, taking the next four games to level the first set. But Bouzkova was not to be denied, winning the next two games to close out the first set. The Romanian, struggling with an Achilles’ problem then retired, surely the right decision with the final Slam of the year less than a month away.
Bouzkova has demonstrated this week that she can go toe to toe against anyone. Neither hard hitters like Sloane Stephens and Jelena Ostapenko nor great movers like Halep have been able to stop her. Her ability to maintain her court position has been particularly impressive. But as good as this run has been for the Czech, Williams is in a completely different league. If the American is at her best, it is hard to see Bouzkova surviving the Williams onslaught.
Prediction: Williams in 2
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