There don’t seem to be any signs indicating that Rogers Cup presented by National Bank will crown a new champion this year.
World No.5 Elina Svitolina of Ukraine, who took home the winner’s trophy in 2017, has her sights set on her 13th WTA title. On Thursday afternoon at IGA Stadium, she made that very clear when she disposed of the player of the hour, Johanna Konta, in two sets (6-3, 6-4).
In the early session, Sloane Stephens (3) of the US defeated qualifier Carla Suarez Navarro in two (6-2, 7-5). After getting off to a mind-blowing start, Stephens let a 5-1 lead in the second set slip away. She lost her serve twice before getting back on track.
In her first match of the day, overwhelming favourite Simona Halep of Romania fought tooth and nail to overpower No.28 Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova of Russia in three (7-6 (9), 4-6, 7-5) after clawing her way back from a service break in the final set.
Caroline Wozniacki (2) had a tougher day at the office: she fell in three (5-7, 6-2, 7-6 (4)) to the powerful Aryna Sabalenka of Belarus in a match that lasted 2:31.
Venus Williams claimed her place in the third round by vanquishing Sorana Cirstea of Romania (7-6 (4), 6-4). Kiki Bertens of the Netherlands caused a surprise upset when she thrashed Petra Kvitova (8) of the Czech Republic in two sets (6-3, 6-2). Ashleigh Barty (15) of Australia expelled Alizé Cornet of France, who had toppled Angelique Kerber in the previous round, in two sets (7-6 (3), 6-4). And Anastasija Sevastova of Latvia surprised Julia Goerges (10) of Germany in two (6-3, 7-6 (2)).
Finally, Eugenie Bouchard and Sloane Stephens qualified for the quarterfinals in the doubles event. They defeated Kirsten Flipkens of Belgium and Daria Gavrilova of Australia (6-0, 6-4).