Serena Williams defeats Naomi Osaka for the first time

Ross Houston
August 14, 2019

Playing her first event since losing the Wimbledon final, Williams faced Osaka for the first time since losing to her previous year in the U.S. Open final.

Williams produced a brilliant display to claim a straight-sets win over Osaka to reach the semi-finals of the Rogers Cup.

Serena Williams said she beat Naomi Osaka on Friday because she had been watching her "a lot" since her US Open meltdown, last year.

Osaka's run on the professional tennis courts has been wobbly since her Australian Open 2019 title and she admitted that she was not enjoying her stay on the WTA Tour since then.

Williams beat Osaka 6-3, 6-4 to advance to the Rogers Cup semifinal in Toronto as windy conditions failed to put the veteran American off her serve, playing aggressively, and with an efficient return game that bested the 21-year-old.

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.

"We haven't played since NY, which was a really good match for her", Williams said of Osaka on

Last September, Williams lost to Osaka in controversial 6-2, 6-4 match.

The American made light of Osaka's comments in a amusing post-match interview. When asked about this in her post-match interview, Williams, who is 16 years Osaka's senior, quipped that she's "more or less her tennis grandma".

"That was very kind of her to say mum. I'm just overall a little bit better", Williams said.

In the semi-finals, Williams will face Czech qualifier Marie Bouzkova, who advanced when Wimbledon champion Simona Halep retired with Achilles tendon trouble after dropping their first set 6-4.

Osaka will go from No. 2 to No. 1 on Monday when the new ranking is announced. "So this is, like, such a big learning experience for me", Osaka added. "I think I played pretty well".

The 37-year-old is looking to shore up her hardcourt game for the August 26-to-Sept. "It's always my dream to play against her".

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

Karolina Pliskova also exited in the quarterfinal, suffering a 6-0, 2-6, 6-4 loss to Canadian Bianca Andreescu. Andreescu will face American Sofia Kenin, a 7-6 (7-2), 6-4 victor over sixth-seeded Elina Svitolina of Ukraine.

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.

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