Two Top 5 players, an American on the rise, and a surprise Slovak qualifier make up the semifinals at the Rogers Cup in Montreal after quarterfinal play on Friday.
No. 2 seed Angie Kerber and No. 5 Simona Halep will compete in one of the blockbuster semis after Halep came from a set down to beat former world No. 2 Svetlana Kuznetsova 3-6, 6-1, 6-1.
“It was very tough, I feel really tired now, she played very well and she’s very strong so I knew it was going to be like this,” Halep said. “All I can say is that I’m very happy I could win against her, because we always have tough matches.”
Halep called coach Darren Cahill onto the court during the match to feed her some game plan in the blustery conditions.
Kerber dismissed teen Daria Kasatkina 6-2, 6-2.
“She’s really dangerous,” Kerber said. “I think I played really well today and it’s really nice to be in the semis for the first time in Montreal. I was trying to focus on my game because it was the first time I met her and it worked.”
In the other semifinal No. 10-seeded American Madison Keys will face Slovak qualifier Kristina Kucova.
Keys survived a rollerocaster 7-6(3), 1-6, 6-0 win over No. 16 Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova, while Kucova kept the shocks coming in Montreal, beating streaking No. 15 seed Johanna Konta 6-4, 6-3.
“I played really well in the first set I feel to get a good lead, then kind of fell off for a couple of games,” Keys said. “The second set, I was a lot more passive and was letting her dictate the point. It’s tough when you’re playing someone who is so great at being aggressive. I just knew in the third set I either had to step up, be aggressive, go for my shots, or I wasn’t going to like the outcome of the match.”
Kucova at 26 years old is finally seeing tour success after years back showing early promise by winning the US Open juniors.
“Yeah, it was very long journey,” she said. “As winning US Open junior Grand Slam normally should give me a lot of confident. In the end, I didn’t have after this success very big confidence. It was strange for me. After I try to break into women’s tennis, I was 103, my best ranking. Then start many injuries. I had to stop for half year. It was difficult to come back and always find the balance between working hard and resting and be healthy, stay on the tour. So now as I’m older, I try to take care of my body also, and I’m very happy that now is the time that I broke the 100.”
It will be the first meeting between Keys and Kucova, while Halep leads Kerber 3-2 in their career meetings, but the German has won the last two.
You Might Like:
Venus Williams, Eugenie Bouchard KO’d Out Of Montreal; Russians Rise Up As A New Champion Will Be Crowned
Simona Halep Battles Madison Keys For the Montreal Canadian Open Title
Inspired Eugenie Bouchard Advances with Upset, Venus Lines Up Madison Keys at Rogers Cup
Federer-Berdych, Kerber-Keys Highlight QF Tuesday At Australian Open
Keys Locks Out Cibulkova, Kerber Gets Low on Halep Tuesday at WTA Finals