Serena Williams powered past Naomi Osaka 6-3, 6-4 on Friday to reach the semi-finals of the WTA tournament in Toronto. In a rematch of last year’s controversial US Open final won by Osaka, eighth-seeded Williams was firing on all cylinders against the second-seeded Japanese star.
The 23-time Grand Slam champion fired 12 aces and didn’t face a break. Williams next faces either fourth-seeded Simona Halep — who beat her in the Wimbledon final in July — or Czech qualifier Marie Bouzkova.
Although Osaka won’t depart Toronto with a trophy, her run to the quarters — along with a second-round departure for top-ranked Ashleigh Barty and a quarter-final exit for world number three Karolina Pliskova — will see the Japanese star regain the world number one ranking next week.