Serena Williams 'redeems herself' in Naomi Osaka rematch
14 August, 2019, 05:38
Playing her first event since losing the Wimbledon final, Williams faced Osaka for the first time since losing to her past year in the U.S. Open final.
Osaka had won her previous two matches against Williams in straight sets, but the 37-year-old secured a 6-3 6-4 victory over the Japanese star on Friday.
It was the first time Williams and Osaka had played since the 21-year-old beat the veteran American at the 2018 US Open final, a match which saw Williams suffer an on-court meltdown.
Unlike the at Flushing Meadows a year ago, where Osaka won her first Grand Slam title, there were no fiery exchanges with the umpire, no smashed rackets, no point or game penalties - just a rock-solid performance from Williams.
The 23-time grand slam champion has since apologised and, in their first meeting since, Williams delivered an impeccable performance at the WTA Premier tournament to score her first career win over Osaka.
Williams, who is one major shy of a record-tying 24th Grand Slam title, is prepping for the U.S. Open later this month.
Playing her idol once again, Osaka underwent the same sensations when she played her for the first time in Miami, Florida.
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.
The American made light of Osaka's comments in a amusing post-match interview.
"I knew her game a little bit more, so that's a little easier".
"That was very kind of her to say mum".
"I'm getting there", said Williams, who hasn't dropped a set this week as she pursues a fourth Toronto title to go with those she won in 2001, 2011 and 2013.
Humbled this week in Toronto, Osaka acknowledged this loss belatedly provided the experience she had always anticipated when facing Williams.
The 37-year-old is looking to shore up her hardcourt game for the August 26-to-Sept.
"But, yeah, I'm not really mad at this. And I was just - know how to - I know what I need to do to hopefully try to get a win (on Friday), and it helped a little bit".
The Czech qualifier continued her run, winning the first set 6-4 when Halep retired injured.
The 19-year-old Andreescu, from nearby Mississauga, is returning from a right shoulder injury that sidelined her since the French Open in May. Kenin beat sixth-seeded Elina Svitolina of Ukraine 7-6 (2), 6-4.
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