August 9, 2019 / 9:33 PM / 11 days ago

Tennis-Canadian Andreescu stuns Pliskova to reach Toronto semis

TORONTO, Aug 9 (Reuters) - Canadian teenager Bianca Andreescu coped with leg pain to keep her dream Rogers Cup run alive with a 6-0 2-6 6-4 upset of Czech third seed Karolina Pliskova to reach the semi-finals on Friday.

Andreescu, who has dealt with several injury setbacks in her young career, looked to be in trouble when she gingerly returned to the court from a medical timeout late in the second set with her right thigh heavily taped and her movement hampered.

But the 19-year-old, who shot to prominence with her Indian Wells triumph in March, dug deep and went toe-to-toe with her more experienced opponent to win by serving out to love.

Andreescu had been battling injuries and inconsistent form in recent months but has looked rejuvenated in front of the home crowd and showed plenty of fighting spirit with each of her four matches going the distance.

Pliskova’s chances of replacing Australian Ash Barty, who lost here in the second round, atop the world rankings are over and Japan’s Naomi Osaka, who plays later on Thursday, will move back into first spot.

Up next for Andreescu will be unseeded American Sofia Kenin, who extended her impressive Toronto run with a 7-6(2) 6-4 win over Ukrainian sixth seed and former champion Elina Svitolina for her second top-10 victory if the week.

Kenin, who ousted Barty this week, rallied back from 0-4 down in the first set and is two wins away from her third title of the year after triumphs in Hobart and Mallorca.

Three-times champion Serena Williams, the number eight seed, and second-seeded Osaka kick off the evening session in their first meeting since the American’s infamous row with an umpire overshadowed last year’s U.S. Open final.

Holder Simona Halep, the fourth-seeded Romanian who claimed her first Wimbledon title this year, and Czech qualifier Marie Bouzkova cap the day’s action in the other quarter-final. (Reporting by Frank Pingue in Toronto; Editing by Ken Ferris)

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