Canadian Bianca Andreescu is about to face the toughest test of her career against Serena Williams, while Rafael Nadal will look to secure his fifth Rogers Cup title against Daniil Medvedev.
As we get ready for an exciting championship Sunday, here are five things we learned from Day 6 at the Rogers Cup.
Andreescu looking to cap off memorable run
Andreescu continued to make history, beating Sofia Kenin to become the first Canadian to reach the Rogers Cup final since Faye Urban and Vicki Berner battled for the Canadian Open title back in 1969.
The 19-year-old got some revenge on Kenin, who was the last opponent to beat her in a full match back in February at the Mexico Open. Andreescu has now pushed her winning streak to 16 consecutive matches (not including ones that forced her to retire with injury) and will now move up to, at least, 19th in the WTA rankings. She was outside the top 200 at this time last year.
It has not been an easy going for the Mississauga, Ont., native as she has been on the court for 10 hours and 54 minutes, longer than any player at the tournament. This time around, Andreescu was able to reduce some of her time on court with her first straight-sets victory at the Rogers Cup.
In her third WTA final of 2019, Andreescu will go up against, arguably, her toughest opponent in Williams. It will be the first meeting between the two, so buckle up.
Serena overcomes slow start
After a hard-fought rematch of last year’ U.S. Open final against Naomi Osaka, Williams was in tough against Marie Bouzkova who came into Saturday’s match with four straight wins against major champions.
The odds were certainly stacked against Bouzkova considering the wealth of experience Williams brought heading into the match.
Sure, Marie Bouzkova’s resume might not be as expensive as Serena Williams’, but in 2019 the speedy Czech has certainly done her share of winning.
— Rogers Cup (@rogerscup) August 10, 2019
The 21-year-old got off to a great start, winning the first set 6-1 in 28 minutes and was making some tough shots against the 37-year-old.
Unfortunately for Bouzkova, the veteran Williams was determined to put herself in a position to win her first tournament since 2017. She made the necessary adjustments to take the final two sets 6-3, 6-3 notching her 500th career win on hard court.
Williams committed 18 unforced errors in the first set alone but in the second set, she was able to break the seventh game and would go on to win the final four games of the set. Once she took a commanding 3-1 lead in the final set, Williams was not giving it up.
Heading into Sunday’s final, Williams admitted that she has kept her eye on Andreescu from the moment she defeated her sister Venus at the ASB Classic back in January.
Nadal looking to remain perfect in Rogers Cup final
The Spaniard moved on to the men’s final after Gael Monfils retired prior to their semifinal match due to an ankle injury and will play in a record-breaking 51st Masters 1000 final. Reaching the Rogers Cup final also guarantees that Nadal will remain at No. 2 in the ATP Rankings.
Nadal can also extend his Masters 1000 title wins record to 35 while Medvedev will play in his first-ever Masters 1000 final after a straight-sets win over Karen Khachanov. This will be the first career meeting between Nadal and Medvedev.
The 33-year-old will try to remain perfect in Rogers Cup finals after winning last year in Toronto against Stefanos Tsitsipas, which was also Nadal’s first title win on Canadian soil since 2013. One thing the Spaniard has going against him as Sportsnet’s Eric Engels points out, is that he has never defended a hard court title throughout his career.
Impressive runs from Kenin, Bouzkova come to an end
For Bouzkova and Kenin, their unlikely run at the Rogers Cup came to an end on Saturday but they certainly impressed with some strong play.
Bouzkova came into the tournament as the No. 91 ranked player and gave Williams a run for her money in a two-hour match but did not have another upset after eliminating Sloane Stephens, Simona Halep, and Jelena Ostapenko. The 21-year-old forced Williams to commit errors on 18 of the 27 points won in the first set and denied Williams any break point opportunities.
Like Bouzkova, Kenin had her fair share of upsets beating sixth-seeded Elina Svitolina and world No. 1 Ashleigh Barty to reach the semifinal against Andreescu. The 20-year-old has had a couple of impressive wins this season including a victory over Williams in straight sets at the French Open.
Against Andreescu, Kenin not only won the next three games to get back to claw back in the second set, but she also fought off three match points while serving to stay in the match but could not hold off the Canadian who hit a baseline winner in the deep corner.