Serena Williams reaches Rogers Cup quarters in Toronto

National Sports

Karolina Pliskova, of the Czech Republic, hits a backhand to Anett Kontaveit, of Estonia, at the Rogers Cup tennis tournament in Toronto, Thursday, Aug. 8, 2019. (Frank Gunn/The Canadian Press via AP)

This is an archived article and the information in the article may be outdated. Please look at the time stamp on the story to see when it was last updated.

TORONTO (AP) — Serena Williams won for the second straight night at the Rogers Cup, beating Russia’s Ekaterina Alexandrova 7-5, 6-4 on Thursday to reach the quarterfinals.

Playing her first event since losing the Wimbledon final, Williams opened with a 6-3, 6-3 victory over Elise Mertens of Belgium on Wednesday. The 37-year-old Williams won the event in 2001, 2011 and 2013 —all in Toronto — and has a match record of 32-4.

“I definitely feel like it takes a while to get back into the rhythm, because we’ve had a long season of just clay and then grass, and now we’re on hard courts,” Williams said. “So it definitely feels different, especially for me now. Usually I don’t feel that huge of a difference, but for whatever reason I do this year.”

The eighth-seeded Williams will face No. 2 Naomi Osaka of Japan, a 7-6 (4), 6-4 winner over Polish qualifier Iga Swiatek in the late match.

“I’m feeling good,” Williams said. “Just hopefully just being able to stay in the rhythm and playing this week and next week would be good.”

Alexandrova staved off 12 break points, but she was broken five times and had 11 double-faults.

“She hit really, really hard and she was hitting a lot of winners,” Williams said. “So I was just happy that I was able to just fight through that.”

Third-ranked Karolina Pliskova of the Czech Republic advanced to the afternoon, beating Anett Kontaveit of Estonia 6-3, 7-5. In position to reclaim the top spot in the world ranking this week, Pliskova set up a match against Bianca Andreescu of Canada.

Pliskova finished off Kontaveit in two sets after taking three against American Alison Riske on Wednesday.

“For sure better than it was maybe yesterday,” Pliskova said. “So I guess it’s going to get better every day with what I play. And I always was, I am, improving with matches.”

Andreescu beat fifth-seeded Kiki Bertens of the Netherlands 6-1, 6-7 (7), 6-4.

The 19-year-old Andreescu, from nearby Mississauga, improved to 5-0 against top-10 opponents this year. A right shoulder injury has limited her to four events since May.

“Being off for that long and coming into the Rogers Cup and getting into the quarterfinals means so much to me,” Andreescu said. “And this time off actually helped me. I figured a lot of things out — and it’s showing on court.”

Fourth-seeded Simona Halep of Romania, making her first start since beating Williams for the Wimbledon title, beat Svetlana Kuznetsova of Russia 6-2, 6-1. Halep will face Czech qualifier Marie Bouzkova, a 6-2, 6-2 winner at night over Latvia’s Jalena Ostapenko.

American Sofia Kenin beat Ukrainian teenager Dayana Yastremska 6-2, 6-2. Kenin beat top-ranked Ashleigh Barty in the previous round. In the quarterfinals, Kenin will face sixth-seeded Elina Svitolina of Ukraine, a 6-2, 6-4 winner over 11th-seeded Belinda Bencic of Switzerland.

___

More AP tennis: https://apnews.com/apf-Tennis and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports

Copyright 2020 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Recent Videos

Shiloh Christian Signing

Thumbnail for the video titled "Shiloh Christian Signing"

Century Girls Soccer

Thumbnail for the video titled "Century Girls Soccer"

Ward Co Facilities

Thumbnail for the video titled "Ward Co Facilities"

ND Golf Championship Early

Thumbnail for the video titled "ND Golf Championship Early"

ND Spring Golf Championship Late

Thumbnail for the video titled "ND Spring Golf Championship Late"

Tuesday, June 2nd, 2020 - KX Storm Team Evening Forecast - Dave Holder

Thumbnail for the video titled "Tuesday, June 2nd, 2020 - KX Storm Team Evening Forecast - Dave Holder"

In Loving Memory children's book

Thumbnail for the video titled "In Loving Memory children's book"

Pools Opening

Thumbnail for the video titled "Pools Opening"

Motorcycle Safety

Thumbnail for the video titled "Motorcycle Safety"

KX Storm Team #OneMinuteForecast w/Tom Schrader 6/2

Thumbnail for the video titled "KX Storm Team #OneMinuteForecast w/Tom Schrader 6/2"

RHDV

Thumbnail for the video titled "RHDV"

MANDAN HOMICIDE

Thumbnail for the video titled "MANDAN HOMICIDE"

Robert Suhr KX News 5:20am Forecast 6-2-20

Thumbnail for the video titled "Robert Suhr KX News 5:20am Forecast 6-2-20"

Robert One Minute 6-2

Thumbnail for the video titled "Robert One Minute 6-2"

New Salem Track & Field

Thumbnail for the video titled "New Salem Track & Field"

Troy Olson

Thumbnail for the video titled "Troy Olson"

Peace in Minot

Thumbnail for the video titled "Peace in Minot"

Canola Flea Beetle

Thumbnail for the video titled "Canola Flea Beetle"

Penny Sales Tax

Thumbnail for the video titled "Penny Sales Tax"

Fargo Cleaning Up

Thumbnail for the video titled "Fargo Cleaning Up"
More Video

KX News Trending Stories

Don't Miss

Daily Pledge

More Daily Pledge