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Rogers Cup: Serena Williams, Naomi Osaka in quarters to set up US Open final rematch

first_imgRogers Cup: Serena Williams, Naomi Osaka in quarters to set up US Open final rematchNaomi Osaka won her first career Grand Slam at Flushing Meadows after defeating Serena Williams in the final but the title match will be remembered for Williams’ feud with Carlos Ramos.advertisement Reuters TorontoAugust 9, 2019UPDATED: August 9, 2019 10:59 IST Serena Williams reached Rogers Cup quarter-finals (Reuters Photo)HIGHLIGHTSSerena Williams and Naomi Osaka advanced to the Rogers Cup quarter-finalsThe quarter-final match between the two tennis stars would be a rematch of the US Open finalOsaka won her first Grand Slam after defeating Serena in US Open finalSerena Williams and Naomi Osaka advanced to the Rogers Cup quarter-finals on Thursday to set up their first meeting since the American’s infamous row with an umpire overshadowed last year’s U.S. Open final.Osaka won her first career Grand Slam at Flushing Meadows but the title match will be remembered for Williams’ feud with Carlos Ramos, who warned her for a coaching violation before deducting a point and then a game for her behaviour.Williams, a three-times Rogers Cup champion, overcame a sluggish start on Thursday to earn a 7-5 6-4 win over Russian qualifier Ekaterina Alexandrova.Japanese second seed Osaka then closed out the day’s action with a 7-6(4) 6-4 win over Polish qualifier Iga Swiatek.”I’ve been actually looking forward to playing her for a while,” Williams said of the Osaka matchup.Williams, who is eager to get more hard-court matches under her belt before seeking a record-tying 24th career Grand Slam at the U.S. Open, came back from an early double-break down, helped in part by eight double-faults by Alexandrova in the first set.The American eighth seed, in her first career meeting with Alexandrova, went down a break again and trailed 3-1 in the second but her serve suddenly started to click as she stormed back to 3-3 and from there raced home.”She played really well. She didn’t really give me any rhythm,” Williams said. “I wasn’t sure what would come, if it was going to be hard or soft or a winner or what so it was definitely a challenge for me.”advertisementOsaka also had her hands full and needed to save a pair of set points before grabbing the opener against Swiatek.The Japanese made a quick start to the second set and seemed in control until Swiatek made a comeback, the 18-year-old winning over the crowd with her versatile play as the match wore on.Osaka, 21, said she was excited about the chance to play Williams, someone she grew up watching and has beaten in their two previous meetings.”Whenever I get the opportunity to play her it’s something that I feel is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.” said Osaka.”It feels more like I am showcasing my skills to her like ‘look what I can do.’ So I will go into the match with that mentality.”Defending champion Simona Halep, in her first event since winning last month’s Wimbledon, needed 67 minutes to secure a 6-2 6-1 win over Russian wildcard Svetlana Kuznetsova.Halep took a medical timeout in her previous match to have her left Achilles tended to and she said she still felt pain in the area against Kuznetsova but that it was feeling much better.”The fact that I’m back in the quarter-finals here means a lot to me,” said Halep. “It feels like I’m getting back the rhythm which I had in Wimbledon.”Up next for Halep will be in-form Czech qualifier Marie Bouzkova, who breezed by former French Open champion Jelena Ostapenko 6-2 6-2 and has yet to drop a set.Earlier on Thursday, Czech third seed Karolina Pliskova beat Estonian Anett Kontaveit 6-3 7-5 to set up a last eight meeting with Canadian Bianca Andreescu, who upset Dutch fifth seed Kiki Bertens 6-1 6-7(7) 6-4.Also securing passage to the last eight were American Sofia Kenin and 2017 champion Elina Svitolina of Ukraine.Also Read | Defending champ Rafael Nadal wins Rogers Cup openerAlso Read | Rogers Cup: Maria Sharapova crashes out in 1st round, teenager Dayana Yastremska stuns Johanna KontaAlso SeeFor sports news, updates, live scores and cricket fixtures, log on to indiatoday.in/sports. Like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter for Sports news, scores and updates.Get real-time alerts and all the news on your phone with the all-new India Today app. Download from Post your comment Do You Like This Story? Awesome! Now share the story Too bad. Tell us what you didn’t like in the comments Posted byAnita Jat Nextlast_img read more

Bowden Muschamp renew ties in AkronSouth Carolina game

COLUMBIA, S.C. — When Terry Bowden was coaching Auburn he saw just what he needed in graduate assistant Will Muschamp 23 years ago. So it’s no surprise to when that Muschamp has excelled running a program.He will get see firsthand how much Muschamp has learned this weekend.Brown’s Akron Zips (4-7) face Muschamp’s Gamecocks (6-5) to close the regular season in a makeup game after South Carolina’s contest with Marshall on Sept. 15 was cancelled due to Hurricane Florence. Akron saw its season-opener at Nebraska called off because of lightning and strong storms.Bowden brought Muschamp on at Auburn after he finished his career as a Georgia defensive back in 1994.“I just remember what an intelligent ballplayer he was. He was savvy, tough guy, a leader,” Bowden said earlier this week. “I liked the way he carried himself as a player. Then, finding out he wanted to be a coach, he’s the guy I look for when I’m looking for graduate assistants. I think he’s turned out everything I thought he would.”When Muschamp’s time as a graduate assistant was over, he took a position outside of football. But that didn’t stick for long with Bowden’s encouraging words that Muschamp could be a successful teacher, mentor and football coach.“To get reassurance from a guy who was head coach at Auburn University and was having a good run at the time, to tell you to stick with this thing,” Muschamp said. “There was no doubt, I appreciate his words.”Muschamp has the Gamecocks on a positive track . He’s the first South Carolina coach to start with three consecutive bowl appearances. And Muschamp’s aiming higher, telling his team to treat this extra week of game practice as a rehearsal for next year in preparing for a Southeastern Conference title game.“The guys will tell you, I like to be able to practice things,” Muschamp said.A win should enhance the Gamecocks bowl destination.Bowden, in his seventh season at Akron, said the Zips had hopes of reaching a bowl game, too, when they agreed to a 12th game in early November. However, four consecutive losses this month ended that goal.Some other things to watch for when South Carolina plays host to Akron:SURGING BENTLEYSouth Carolina quarterback Jake Bentley is on a major roll. He had career highs of 510 yards passing and five touchdowns in last week’s 56-35 loss at No. 2 Clemson. Over his past four games, Bentley has thrown for 1,451 yards and 13 TDs and just two interceptions. The junior was on NFL scouts radar when the year began. His recent play has revived talk of turning pro after this year. Bentley and coach Will Muschamp say the focus is solely on Akron.BOWDEN ON THE SIDELINEEven though it’s his second game as a head coach at South Carolina, Akron’s Terry Bowden will mark his first time on the sideline. The other occasion, as Auburn’s head coach in 1997, Bowden had to stay up in the coaching box due to a back injury. The eighth-ranked Tigers improved to 5-0 that year with a 23-6 win over the Gamecocks.TOUTING HIS PLAYERSWill Muschamp spoke nimbly when asked why Bentley’s performance didn’t earn any Player of the Week recognition from the SEC. After stating that it’s a team game and Bentley’s output was the product of many players’ hard work and preparation,Muschamp said people should be recognized for doing something extraordinary. No one in SEC history, Muschamp said, had ever thrown for that many yards against a top Five opponent. Muschamp then said, “:We have a saying, ‘It just means more.’ It just means more, sometimes, depending on what your logo is. Call it like it is.”Alabama quarterback Tua Tagovailoa and Vanderbilt quarterback Kyle Shurmur shared the latest SEC player of the week honours.NICE WINAkron has something South Carolina does not: A victory over a championship game participant this weekend. The Zips had two pick-six touchdowns in a 39-34 victory at Northwestern this past September. The Wildcats play Ohio State for the Big Ten championship on Saturday.RETURN TO MACTIONSouth Carolina holds an 8-3 mark over teams from the Mid-American Conference. This is the first time the Gamecocks have played a MAC opponent since defeating Eastern Michigan 41-6 in 2000.___More AP college football: https://apnews.com/Collegefootball and https://twitter.com/AP_Top25Pete Iacobelli, The Associated Press read more