Serena Williams survived a scare before getting past Marie Bouzkova in the Rogers Cup semi-finals on Saturday. "So whenever I get the opportunity to play her, like, it's something that I feel is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity".
"We haven't played since NY, which was a really good match for her", said Williams, adding that she feels her own game is coming on as she'd hoped in the buildup to this year's US Open at Flushing Meadows.
The all-time WTA great is an icon for Osaka; however, the 21-year-old had won their only two prior meetings - including an incredible US Open final in which Williams repeatedly ranted at the officials.
Needing a response, Williams broke in the seventh game of the second set, crushing a forehand return victor on her way to winning the final four games of the set. "We haven't played since NY, which was a really good match for her".
In the first set, I was going for a little too much, so I just had to just play a different game.
The Romanian, who roared back from 0-4 down to level the set at 4-4 only to lose the last two games, said she had been bothered by her Achilles tendon from the start of the tournament. "So I go into the matches with that mentality". "So this is, like, such a big learning experience for me", Osaka added. "I just wanted to come out and try to win a set this time, because she's beaten me twice".
Bouzkova wasn't even on the main draw in Toronto, but she worked her way off the back courts and simply ran the table, not dropping a set in seven matches here, including qualifying, before hitting the noted roadblock that is Williams.
Andreescu shot to prominence with a victory at Indian Wells in March, but this week marks her first tournament since she was forced out of the French Open with a shoulder injury.
"I've never faced her but I've kind of become a fan with everyone cheering so hard".
"We haven't played since NY, which was a really good match for her", Williams said of Osaka on Tennis.com.
Williams, who is one major shy of a record-tying 24th Grand Slam title, is prepping for the U.S. Open later this month. The other semifinal features unseeded youngsters Bianca Andreescu and Sofia Kenin.
"So in a weird way, losing today, I accomplished my dream". However, after her loss Serena, the Japanese was rejuvenated and was pleased with her experienced at Rogers Cup 2019 as she lost to one of the legendary tennis players of the sport.