The Williams sisters made a much-anticipated Saturday semifinal at the Rogers Cup in Montreal a reality with hard-fought wins on Friday in the quarterfinals.
Serena came from behind to beat gal pal and former No. 1 Caroline Wozniacki 4-6, 7-5, 7-5, and Venus toughed-out a three-set victory over No. 14 seed Carla Suarez Navarro 4-6, 6-2, 6-3 who stunned Maria Sharapova.
Serena trailed 4-6, 2-4, 15-30 before kicking it into a higher gear with an ace then 10 points in a row.
“She just does everything well,” Williams said of Wozniacki. “She’s really fast, gets a lot of balls back, she makes you hit that extra shot — and she kept her unforced errors down super low today.”
Venus was playing her third three-setter in four matches, looking exhausted in the third set as the Spaniard Suarez Navarro ran her corner to corner, but refused to give in to exhaustion.
Serena and Venus meet for a 25th time, first ever in Canada. Serena leads 14-10 having won the last five against her big sister.
“I have to play well. That’s pretty much it,” Venus said. “There’s no secret or science to it. I think that’s anyone who has gotten any wins against her, they’ve pretty much played the match of their life.
“Hopefully I won’t have to play the match of my life. That’s tough. But I need to play well.”
Added Serena on Venus, “I definitely don’t like playing her – I think I’ve lost to her more than anyone else on the tour. So it’s definitely not a fun match for me, to be honest. But she’s tough. She has a great serve. She runs every ball down. She has a great backhand. She hits winners off the forehand.
“She just does everything well, so it’s not an ideal match-up for anyone, to be honest.”
The other semifinal on Saturday will be No. 3 seed Agnieszka Radwanska, who defeated No. 8 Victoria Azarenka 6-2, 6-2, against unseeded Russian Ekaterina Makarova, who weathered the attack of American qualifier Coco Vandeweghe 6-1, 4-6, 6-1.
On the men’s side No. 13-seeded Jo-Wilfried Tsonga showed that his current streak that includes a win over world No. 1 Novak Djokovic on Thursday is no fluke, on Friday ousting another Top 10 player in No. 8 seed Andy Murray 7-6(5), 4-6, 6-4.
“I had my hand on the match at the beginning and then he came back,” said Tsonga who had lost his last eight to Murray. “Then I was a little bit down. I just stayed focused, tried to be a little bit more aggressive because I was a little bit flat after losing the second set. “(In the third set) he gave me one or two points that he didn’t give me since the start of the second set and then I broke back and I won it.”
Murray was cruising with a break lead 3-0 in the third before things fell apart for the 2-time Canadian champion.
“I had to play around my return position quite a lot, and I started to get into more service games in the second and third sets,” said Murray who hasn’t reached a final since 2013 Wimbledon. “I thought it was a high-level match with a few games by both of us in the second and third sets that were a bit scrappy.
“Jo is a top player. He’s a fantastic athlete. When his game is on, he’s very tough to beat.”
Tsonga will next meet No. 7 seed Grigor Dimitrov, who saved two matchpoints to deny Kevin Anderson 5-7, 7-5, 7-6(8).
The big-serving South African held two matchpoints on his serve at 5-4, 40-15, and then held two more serves with the mini-break lead 5-4 in the third set tiebreak.
“It was pretty tough,” Anderson said after the 3-hour thriller. “I’m still probably processing it all, but as disappointing and frustrating as a match can possibly get.
“I worked really hard and obviously you never want to lose a match after having a couple of match points…Just probably one of the tougher losses on my serve in my career so far.”
Dimitrov, now 15-2 this year in final sets, will try to get his first win over Tsonga in this his fourth try.
“I knew what to expect against him,” said Dimitrov after advancing to his second straight Masters semi. “I have played him I don’t even know how many times already, and I don’t remember us having a straight-set match. I knew in a way that he can serve himself out of the situation or any of that, but I think we didn’t play at our best. Still, when it came down to those big points, I think it was a lot about the mental toughness and what situation you want to put yourself in to win the point. In the end I was just a little bit stronger on that side and I went for the shots that I know I can win.”
In the late match Friday, No. 2 seed birthday boy Roger Federer defeated No. 5 David Ferrer for a 15th straight time 6-3, 4-6, 6-3. In the semis on Saturday the 2-time tournament champion will meet unseeded Spaniard Feliciano Lopez, who stunned No. 6 seed and Canadian favorite Milo Raonic 6-4, 6-7(5), 6-3.
“With Milos, I have to be aggressive, because if not, he’s going to dominate,” said Lopez, who saved all nine break points he faced in the match. “I have been [playing] this game the whole week and it was working perfectly. So for me there was no reason to change it while playing Milos today.”
Like Ferrer, Lopez has also never beaten Federer. The lefty is 0-10 against Roger.
SATURDAY TORONTO SCHEDULE
STADIUM start 12:30 pm
M Cilic (CRO) / S Gonzalez (MEX) vs  I Dodig (CRO) / M Melo (BRA)
Not Before 3:00 pm
 J Tsonga (FRA) vs  G Dimitrov (BUL)
Not Before 6:00 pm
 D Nestor (CAN) / N Zimonjic (SRB) vs  A Peya (AUT) / B Soares (BRA)
Not Before 8:00 pm
F Lopez (ESP) vs  R Federer (SUI)
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