WTA Toronto: Osaka détrône Barty. Bianca Andreescu en tête Daria Kasatkina

By | 08/08/2019

World no. 2 Naomi Osaka had an easy day at the office in the first encounter in Toronto, spending 36 minutes on the court before a qualifier Tatjana Maria had to retire with a left abdominal injury. Competing for the first time since that early Wimbledon loss, Osaka lost just three points on serve in the first set, breaking the German in games three and five for a 6-2 and the place in the third round.

Also, the Japanese has dethroned Ashleigh Barty from the WTA throne, battling with Karolina Pliskova for the world no. 1 position in the rest of the week. An 18-year-old Polish qualifier Iga Swiatek took down Caroline Wozniacki 1-6, 6-3, 6-4 in two hours, overcoming a slow start to cross the finish line first and grab one of the most significant wins of her career so far.

They both won 83 points but it was Iga who had the upper hand in sets two and three, breaking once in the second and claiming six of the last seven games in the decider to move over the top. Wozniacki looked safe when she opened that 3-0 lead in the final set but we didn’t see much from her after that, suffering breaks in games five and nine and allowing Swiatek to steal the victory with a hold in game ten.

A qualifier Ekaterina Alexandrova toppled Shuai Zhang 6-4, 6-3 in 64 minutes, serving at 76% and dropping only six points in her games to avoid any kind of troubles and mount the pressure on the other side of the net. The Chinese was far from those numbers, playing against seven break points and giving serve away thrice to propel the Russian into the last 16.

Alexandrova settled into a fine rhythm right from the start and secured a break in game seven that was enough to claim the opener 6-4. Zhang lost serve in games one and nine in set number two, pushing her rival over the top and towards Serena Williams clash on Thursday.

Svetlana Kuznetsova was too strong for Donna Vekic who survived a marathon in the previous round, scoring a 7-6, 6-3 win in an hour and 46 minutes. The Russian got broken three times and responded with four breaks of her own, erasing a 3-0 deficit in the first set to notch it in the tie break 7-4.

They traded four breaks at the beginning of the second set and the more experienced player earned another one in game six, wasting a match point on return at 5-2 and converting the fourth overall in the next game, only after fending off three break chances that Donna created.

Jelena Ostapenko defeated Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova 6-2, 2-6, 6-4 in an hour and 48 minutes, taking two points more than her rival in the clash with 23 break chances and 28 double faults overall. With both struggling to find the first serve, that was an expected outcome and no one could have predicted the winner until the very end.

In the decider, Ostapenko rattled off four straight breaks to erase the deficit and find herself over the finish line and in the last 16. The crowd favorite Banca Andreescu produced another thrilling victory, beating Daria Kasatkina 5-7, 6-2, 7-5 in two hours and 40 minutes.

Both players had their chances on the return and it was the Canadian who should have closed the match earlier, creating 21 opportunities on the return and seizing eight of those to prevail in the closing stages of the encounter.

Kasatkina took the opener with breaks in games nine and 11, losing ground in set number two to experience three straight breaks that sent the momentum to Bianca’s side of the court. Despite that, Daria had a 5-3 lead in the final set before losing 16 of the last 21 points, broken at love while serving for the win at 5-4 and again at 5-6 to finish on the losing side and allow Andreescu to stay on the title course at only her second tournament after Miami.