The Grand Slam-like field at the Rogers Cup is rapidly losing its biggest stars. Six major champions were in action on Thursday and only one survived – the mighty Serena Williams. The American returned only recently to competitive action and has already clinched a Premier-level title (Stanford) and is steadily making her way through the Toronto event.
Ana Ivanovic (Roland Garros 2008 winner), Li Na (Roland Garros 2011 winner), Petra Kvitova (Wimbledon 2011 winner), Francesca Schiavone (Roland Garros 2010 winner) and Maria Sharapova (three-time Grand Slam champion) all lost in straight sets in the third round of the Rogers Cup.
After defeating Alona Bondarenko 6-0 6-3 in the first round and Julia Goerges 6-1 7-6(7) in the second, Williams overcame Zheng Jie in an entertaining third round match for a 4-6 6-3 6-3 victory. The world No.82 Zheng, who is trying to improve her lost ranking, was two points from a 4-2 lead in the third set when Williams did her signature thing – brought her best game when it mattered the most.
Williams’ opponent in the quarterfinals will be Lucie Safarova, who defeated eighth seed Francesca Schiavone 6-3 6-3 in the third round. Other quarterfinal pairs: Roberta Vinci vs. Samantha Stosur, Agnieszka Radwanska vs. Andrea Petkovic and Galina Voskoboeva vs. Victoria Azarenka. (photo courtesy of FIJI Water)