Simona Halep dropped just one game in a 6-1, 6-0 victory over Barbora Strycova to reach the Toronto quarterfinals. Halep, who won the title last year in Montreal, moves to 4-0 against the Czech.
Halep now faces Frenchwoman Caroline Garcia who upended American CiCi Bellis 6-4, 6-2.
New No. 1 Karolina Pliskova opened the day with a 6-2, 6-7(4) 1-0 retirement win over Naomi Osaka who had to call it quits do to an ab injury.
“It’s going to be tough,” Pliskova said. “There are a few tournaments to go before the end of the year and I know Simona’s behind me. I’ll do my best to stay there as long as I can, hopefully a few more weeks.”
Next for Pliskova is former No. 1 Caroline Wozniacki. The Dane blew out her friend and newly married Agnieszka Radwanksa 6-3, 6-1.
“I’ve known Aga since we were probably five and six or six and seven,” Wozniacki said. “So there’s really no surprises or, you know, any secrets.
“Nothing really changes. We go out there and we battle it out every time. And, you know, we’ve played each other a million times also in juniors and in practice, we hit together a lot. Every match we just go out there and we try our best.”
Two other former No. 1s weren’t as fortunate. Sloane Stephens continued to her return to tennis following a foot injury by soaring past the slumping Angelique Kerber 6-2, 6-2.
“Last week, I said eventually I was going to beat someone – so three people, it’s pretty good,” said Stephens who now meets Lucie Safarova. “So, I’m just pleased with that – pleased to be playing well and just happy to be back on the court again. In the first match, I played well, someone that I don’t think I have ever played before…and then second match playing Kvitova is never easy and she’s a lefty, which I haven’t played in a really long time.
“The same thing today, I just really went out and played my game. I was used to the lefty serve so that helped me a bit. I just went out and played my game and good result.”
And Elina Svitolina hammered Venus Williams 6-2, 6-1.
Also, Wimbledon champ Garbine Muguruza survived a tough test from Ash Barty turning away the Australian 6-0, 3-6, 6-2. She gets Svitolina next.
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