Just after learning that she will again be atop of women’s tennis rankings, Naomi Osaka stepped on the court to face Serena Williams in the Rogers Cup quarterfinals and went down in straight sets to the player who has won the prestigious tournament three times, all three times when the event was played in Toronto.
The eighth-seeded Williams never even faced a break point in the highly-anticipated rematch of the 2018 US Open final and broke the second-seeded Osaka once in each set to secure the 6-3 6-4 victory. Moreover, the 37-year-old Williams hit 12 winners, while Osaka’s count remained 0.
Despite losing to Williams for the first time in their three meetings, Osaka is satisfied with her performance:
I’m not really mad at this. I don’t think it was up and down. I think I played pretty well. And she just played amazing, which that’s what she does. … I just feel like the entire match I was a bit too defensive. I know that can’t be helped when I’m playing against her.
Williams will next face Czech qualifier Marie Bouzkova, the world No.91 who advanced to the semifinals without completing her match against defending champion Simona Halep, as the Romanian retired in the second set because of a left Achilles problem.
The other 2019 Rogers Cup semifinal will be contested between American Sofia Kenin and Canadian Bianca Andreescu.
It’s great that Serena is playing the warm ups to the US Open (I believe she is playing Cincinnati as well), and doing well. I think it will definitely help her in possibly winning #24.
Too bad my girl Serena had to retire due to a back injury. Man, she’d come so far and was really playing like her “old” self again. Oh, well. I pray she’s all healed up for the US Open, because”having to drop out due to injuries” seems to be recurring as she ages. She’s super strong, but she’s also human. I’m still rooting for her and I know #24 & #25 are on the way. Her mental strength & confidence seem to be on point. “Get well, GOAT! You’re still the best!”