For the second straight tournament, Sofia Kenin makes the Premier-level semifinals and beats a reigning No.1 player, as after last week’s victory over top-ranked Ashleigh Barty en route to the Rogers Cup semifinals, an upset that opened the door for Naomi Osaka to get back to the No.1 ranking, the 20-year-old American progressed past the Japanese at the Western & Southern Open. However, it was a retirement victory, as the second-seeded Osaka pulled out early into the third set of their quarterfinal, citing a knee injury that came out of the blue. Commenting on the health issue, Osaka said: “I have no idea what’s going on.” An MRI scan will reveal details.
The reigning US Open champion is now not only unfit to think about another Grand Slam title, but she’s not even sure she’ll be able to play at all this time:
Last year, I won the US Open. This year, I’m trying to play the US Open.
In the semifinals, the world No.22 Kenin will face 16th-seeded compatriot Madison Keys, who beat Venus Williams 6-2 6-3.
Ashleigh Barty has a chance to snatch No.1 ranking back heading into the US Open, as she overcame Maria Sakkari 5-7 6-2 6-0 in Friday’s Cincinnati quarterfinals. In the final four, the Australian will play Svetlana Kuznetsova, who advanced to her first semifinal of the season by defeating third seed Karolina Pliskova 3-6 7-6(2) 6-3.
MORE WESTERN & SOUTHERN OPEN 2019 PHOTOS:
- Thursday: Barty, Osaka, Pliskova move into quarterfinals
- Wednesday: Barty’s win over Sharapova marks successful second round for the seeds
- Tuesday: Venus upsets defending champ Bertens, Keys the only seed to advance
- Monday: Sharapova gets past Riske, Peterson & Swiatek make upsets
- Sunday: Strycova gets WTA Doubles World No.1 trophy, Osaka all smiles during practice
- Saturday: Vekic, Wozniacki, Sharapova, Kasatkina, Goerges practice in hot & humid conditions