WTA Toronto: Bianca Andreescu keeps dreaming. Sofia Kenin downs Svitolina


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WTA Toronto: Bianca Andreescu keeps dreaming. Sofia Kenin downs Svitolina

The 20-year-old Sofia Kenin has stayed on a steady course towards the top-20, defeating the 6th seed Elina Svitolina 7-6, 6-4 in an hour and 45 minutes for the fourth WTA semi-final of the season. The Ukrainian prevailed against the American earlier this year at Indian Wells and tables turned this time around, with Sofia saving nine out of 11 break points to mount the pressure on the opponent who lacked the clutch in the pivotal moments, finishing her run in the last eight after three breaks she suffered.

The youngster had the upper hand on the court with 32 winners and 34 unforced errors, leaving Elina on a 17-22 ratio and staying focused when it mattered the most to advance into the last four. Svitolina was off to a flying start, breaking Kenin in games one and three to open a 4-0 advantage, getting broken in game six after a forced error to keep the opponent in the set.

Serving for the opener at 5-4, Elina gave serve away after a backhand winner from Sofia who leveled the score at 5-5 and gathered the momentum ahead of the tie break that she won 7-2 with a backhand down the line winner after 61 minutes.

In set number two, the Ukrainian squandered seven break chances in games two, four and eight, paying the price at 2-2 when Kenin broke at love with a return winner to gain a set and a break lead. Sofia saved two break points with brave hitting in game eight, staying in front and moving over the top with a hold at 30 at 5-4 to book the semi-final clash with Bianca Andreescu.

The 19-year-old is the first Canadian player in the semi-final of the Canadian Open since Faye Urban in 1969, prevailing against the 3rd seed Karolina Pliskova 6-0, 2-6, 6-4 in an hour and 49 minutes. Bianca is now 6-0 against the players from the top-10 in 2019, staging another thrilling clash and bringing it home with a late break in the deciding set, competing only for the second time after a nasty shoulder injury she suffered back in Miami.

The youngster played better behind the second serve, dropping only 14 points in sets she won and seizing five out of 13 break points against one of the best servers on the Tour to secure the spot in the semis. Carried by the home crowd, Bianca was on fire throughout the opening set, opening a 5-0 lead after a double fault from Pliskova and serving a bagel after only 23 minutes when she hit a forehand down the line winner in the next game.

Pliskova took charge in set number two, breaking Andreescu in games two and four for a 5-0 advantage, wasting two set points at 5-1 and closing the set with another break in game eight against the rival who had to receive a medical timeout for the right leg injury.

Not looking good on the court, Bianca somehow saved three break points in game two of the decider and found the strength to draw another win, breaking Karolina at 15 in the ninth game after a forehand error from the Czech and celebrating another incredible win on the comeback trail with a service winner in the next game.