Top seeds Pliskova, Halep advance to quarterfinals

Thursday, Aug 10

Tournament favourites and top seeds Karolina Pliskova and Simona Halep moved past tricky opponents Thursday afternoon to book their place in the quarterfinals at Rogers Cup presented by National Bank.

After racing through a 6-2 first set over big-hitting teen Naomi Osaka of Japan, World No.1 Pliskova found herself backed into a corner by Osaka’s trademark serve and forehand combinations. Not to be outdone on serve or on her groundstrokes, however, Pliskova hung tight as she and her Japanese opponent traded blows.

Despite taking the second set 7-6(4) in the tiebreak, Osaka quickly called for the trainer at the start of the third after falling behind a quick break and was unfortunately unable to continue, allowing Pliskova to advance to the quarterfinals where she’ll play Caroline Wozniacki.

Wozniacki emerged victorious over good friend Agnieszka Radwanska in what was their 17th match against each other. The Dane, who owns the head-to-head 10-6 over her Polish pal, fell behind an early break but recovered quickly to eventually sweep by the No.11 seed 6-3, 6-1.

Simona Halep took to the court to close out action on Centre Court for Thursday’s day session, dismissing Barbora Strycova 6-1, 6-0 in just under an hour. Halep, who will be in contention with Pliskova for the No.1 ranking throughout the hardcourt summer, moves on to play Caroline Garcia. Garcia earlier prevailed 6-4, 6-2 over Cici Bellis out on Grandstand.

Later on Grandstand, Lucie Safarova emerged victorious over Ekaterina Makarova in a tight 3-6, 6-7(3), 6-2 decision and Genie Bouchard’s double partnership with Pliskova came to an end. They fell 7-5, 1-6 [11-9] to doubles specialists Anna-Lena Groenefeld and Kveta Peschke.