WTA Toronto: Marie Bouzkova sets Serena Williams clash as Halep retires

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WTA Toronto: Marie Bouzkova sets Serena Williams clash as Halep retires

After Sofia Kenin, Bianca Andreescu and Serena Williams who booked the spot in the semi-final of the Canadian Open, a qualifier Marie Bozukova did the same in the last encounter of the Friday's program in Toronto, defeating world no.

4 and Wimbledon champion Simona Halep 6-4. The Romanian had to retire after the first set, struggling with a lower left leg injury and not wanting to risk anything ahead of the US Open that kicks off in three weeks. Thus, the 21-year-old youngster will face Serena Williams in the battle for the final, achieving her best result on the Tour, barely winning a match on the WTA level before and staying in contention for such a big title now.

Simona played well in her previous encounter against Svetlana Kuznetsova and that wasn't the case tonight, losing serve three times and having to retire despite leveling the score at 4-4 to erase an early deficit. Both players had their chances in the opener and it was the Czech who brought it home with three breaks, surviving for another round and facing the 23-time Grand Slam champion on Saturday.

Bozukova earned a break in the very first game after a well-constructed attack, saving a break chance in the next game with a forehand winner and holding after a service winner to confirm the break and go 2-0 up. Unable to find her shots, Simona suffered another break in game three and squandered a break point to fall 4-0 behind before started to climb back, pulling one break back in game six after forcing an error from the opponent and leveling the score at 4-4 with another good return game and a forehand mistake from Marie.

Sticking to her own game, the Czech broke again to take a 5-4 advantage, holding at 15 in game ten with an unreturned serve that proved to be the last point of the clash, with Halep retiring with the left leg injury that carried Bouzkova into the semi-final.