Serena Williams in Rogers Cup semis

Aug 9 2019 Toronto Ontario Canada Naomi Osaka congratulates Serena Williams on her win during the Rogers Cup tennis tournament at Aviva Centre. Mandatory Credit John E. Sokolowski-USA TODAY Sports

Williams' meltdown at Flushing Meadows during the decider in 2018 overshadowed what was Osaka's first grand slam success, with the American revealing she consulted a therapist to deal with the fallout.

Japan's Naomi Osaka will return to the top of the women's singles world ranking this week, despite losing 6-3, 6-4 to Serena Williams in the Rogers Cup quarter-finals on Friday.

They had left the controversy, when Osaka, 20 years old at the time, had raised his first Grand Slam title while enjoying a loss of nerves from his opponent, sanctioned by a point and then a game of penalty by the referee.

With the win, Williams will go on to face Czech qualifier Marie Bouzkova on Saturday.

Williams won in straight sets, 6-3, 6-4, to advance to the Rogers Cup semifinal in Toronto, and is one win away from the competition final, where the victor will receive 1,000 ranking points.

"I'd say more or less tennis grandma", Williams said about herself after the straight sets win against Osaka.

However, Osaka - playing more tentatively in windy conditions - sent a forehand long to give Williams, a three-time victor of the tournament, a break in the eighth game. After a pair of aces gave her a triple match point, Williams offered up a double fault and two backhands into the net before she closed it out with an ace on her fourth match point.

Asked about Osaka dubbing her "Tennis Mum" in her on-court interview, Williams said: "I would say more like 'tennis grandmum.' It was very kind of her to say mom".


"I honestly don't really think there was ups and downs", Osaka said. She added: "But there were chances where she hit shorter balls, but I wasn't expecting her to, so I didn't move up in time".

She struck earlier in the second set with a break in the third game to go ahead 2-1 and never looked back as she went on to secure he first career victory from three career meetings with Osaka.

Williams indeed controlled Friday's match, which took just 75 minutes. "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". "And she just played awesome, which that's what she does".

"I'm getting there. It's definitely not where I want to be, but I'm getting there".

"I've always wanted to play Serena", said Bouzkova, a 21-year-old ranked 91st in the world.

Andreescu shot to prominence with a victory at Indian Wells in March, but she had been sidelined by a shoulder injury since the French Open in May. The 19-year-old won a narrow quarter-final against Karolina Pliskova of N.3, 6-0, 2-6, 6-4.

"In the third set I told myself, 'Go big or go home, ' " Andreescu said.

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

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