Serena Williams and Naomi Osaka are set to go head-to-head for the first time since their controversial US Open final after both progressed at the Rogers Cup.
Last year’s final at Flushing Meadows was remarkably eventful, with Osaka claiming her first Grand Slam title after Williams suffered a total meltdown, resulting in her branding the umpire a “liar” and “thief”.
Williams’ more relaxed schedule has meant they have avoided each other ever since, but that will come to and end in Toronto this week.
The 37-year old beat Ekaterina Alexandrova in 7-5, 6-4, while Osaka overcame teenager Iga Swiatek 7-6 (7-4), 6-4 in her last 16 match.
“I definitely feel like it takes a while to get back into the rhythm, because we’ve had a long season of just clay and then grass, and now we’re on hard courts,” Williams, said.
“So it definitely feels different, especially for me now. Usually I don’t feel that huge of a difference, but for whatever reason I do this year.”
Defending champion Simona Halep is also into the last eight after she beat Svetlana Kuznetsova 6-2 l, 6-1 in just 67 minutes, and she’ll now face Marie Bouzkova.
There were also last-16 wins for sixth seed Elina Svitolina and Sofia Kenin.
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