Osaka pays tribute to Williams after veteran gets US Open revenge


Serena Williams won the rematch, dominating Naomi Osaka 6-3, 6-4 on Friday to ensure the Japanese star won t leave Toronto with a title to go with her number one world ranking.

A lot of hype went into their quarterfinal showdown as it was their first meeting since the 2018 US Open final.

Serena Williams moved into the Rogers Cup semi-finals on Friday with a maiden career victory over Naomi Osaka in their first meeting since the American's infamous row with an umpire overshadowed last year's U.S. Open final.

There was no repeat of the scenes that marred last year's Grand Slam final in NY when Williams was docked a game after clashing with umpire Carlos Ramos, calling him a "thief" and accusing him of double standards that favored male competitors.

Williams will face the victor of the quarter-final match between Simona Halep and Marie Bouzková, in the last four.

The 37-year-old American beat her 21-year old opponent 6-3, 6-4.

"I knew her game a little bit more, so that's a little easier", Williams said post-match, according to The Guardian.

After the match, Osaka spoke of her admiration for Williams, whom she has beaten on their two previous meetings.

"I'm clearly not (yet) where I would like to be but I'm getting close to it", responded Williams, still looking for his 24th Grand Slam, which would be the first since the birth of his daughter in September 2017, and who would allow him to match Margaret Court's record.

"We haven't played since NY which was a really good match for her and I just wanted to come out and try to win a set this time because she's beaten me twice so I just wanted to do the best I could today", Williams said in an on-court interview. I go into every match thinking I can do it, but sometimes that doesn't happen.

Osaka, who calls Williams her "tennis mom", is not hung up on the loss, and admits Williams put up an incredible fight. "I just went out there and I never gave up because it's not over until it's over".

And, you know, I'm just overall a little bit better. "And she just played wonderful, which that's what she does".

A win for Williams sees her bounce-back after losing in disastrous conditions at the Arthur Ashe Stadium in NY, when the 37-year-old received code violations for coaching, smashing her racket, and calling the umpire Carlos Ramos a "thief" at the 2018 US Open. "So this is, like, such a big learning experience for me", Osaka added. The 19-year-old won a narrow quarter-final against Karolina Pliskova of N.3, 6-0, 2-6, 6-4.

The other semifinal will feature American Sofia Kenin (29th) against Canadian tennis star Bianca Andreescu (27th).



Other news