World no. 10 Serena Williams is through to the 96th WTA final and the fifth in Canada after a 1-6, 6-3, 6-3 victory over a qualifier Marie Bouzkova in an hour and 47 minutes. The American was the finalist at this event on her debut in 2000 and still stands competitive almost two decades later, overcoming a slow start to topple the youngster with a strong performance in sets two and three, setting a thrilling title clash with Bianca Andreescu on Sunday.
Serena controlled the course of the encounter with 36 winners and 38 unforced errors, reducing Bouzkova to 12 winners and 15 unforced errors and breaking the opponent three times from six opportunities while suffering as many breaks in her games.
Serving at only 55%, Williams was under pressure behind the initial shot but managed to avoid the damage after the opening set and sail towards the place in the final. The Czech was the player on a mission in the first set, dropping five points on serve and breaking Serena in the first and fifth games (at love) to forge a 4-1 advantage with a forehand winner after just 16 minutes.
Unable to find any kind of rhythm, Williams gave serve again in the seventh game, finding herself 6-1 down in 29 minutes and having to change almost everything in her game if she wanted to seek for the victory. Bouzkova led 3-2 in set number two after reliable serving on both sides and Serena took charge from that moment, delivering the first break in game seven with a forehand return winner and closing the set with a forehand winner at 5-3 that secured another break for her and the deciding set where she was the favorite now.
In the third game of the third set, Williams saved three break chances to gain a boost, breaking Bouzkova in the next game and losing only four points in the next three service games to bring the triumph home with a hold at 30 in the ninth game, blasting another forehand winner to move a win away from the title.