Friday was a very long day on the courts of WTA 1000 tournament in Montreal, but this was much different experience, than the previous day, all tormented by the rain conditions. Two matches rescheduled from Thursday and all the quarterfinals delivered a delightful content full of emotions, as 5 out of 6 matches between the top notch players were settled in three sets.
Samsonova endures two-matches marathon
Two of the quarterfinalists faced a neccesity to play two matches during the day, as they needed to complete their Thursday's matches, which did not happen during the rain. This was two great clashes, both ended up in three sets after about 2:50 hours of play. Liudmila Samsonova performed an upset Aryna Sabalenka, winning by 7-6(2) 4-6 6-3. The 15th seed won the opening set, which did not bring any breaks and got settled in tiebreak. The world's number two needed to comeback in second set and did it well, being on a front foot since 5th game, which delivered the first break of whole match at this point. Samsonova regrouped in three set, as she took the lead in 4th game. The Belarusian did not give up, as she came back level on serve in 7th game, but Samsonova regained her advantage in a following game and managed to serve for a win despite facing a breakpoint in final game.
Belinda Bencic defeated Petra Kvitova b 6-7(3) 6-3 6-1. The Swiss suffered a scary while rolling her ankle in 3rd set, which looked really dangerous. Fortunately, Bencic did not injury herself too badly and this incident did not prevent her from dominating the decisive parts of the match, where she was just a better player than her opponent since losing the opening set by narrow in a tiebreak.
Samsonova and Bencic came back on court in the evening session after a few hours of rest to fight for the place in semifinals. The match started really late, as it was 11:30 PM local time. Samsonova won by 6-4 6-4 in the only one match settled in straight sets this day. This still a competitive battle with breakpoint chances created on both sides during both sets, but Samsonova showed a great resillience by defending all the 5 breakpoints and advanced into semis without losing a single service game this night. It's second consecutive semifinal appearance for the world's number 18, just one week after her run in WTA 500 in Washington.
Pegula moves past Gauff
Cori Gauff was a favorite ahead of the match against her friend Jessica Pegula. The world's number 7 approached the all-American top clash with an ongoing streak of 6 wins in a row, including the title won in WTA 500 Washington last week. Gauff advanced into quarters in Montreal without losing a set so far this week, but the performance showed on Friday against Pegula was really under the par, comparing to the standards from recent days. Pegula started the match with a confident 6-2 victory in opening set. Gauff occured to be more efficient in decisive games of second set, forcing a decider. Pegula won there after gaining a decisive advantage in 11th game, which gave her a 6-2 5-7 7-5 victory. The match was not a super performance from both players, especially from Gauff who commited 59 unforced errors, including 9 double faults.
Swiatek denies an upset from Collins
Iga Swiatek had a tough challenge to overcome in face of playing against Danielle Collins in the quarterfinals. The American has seemingly bounced back after miserable season, as she showed an impressive run of form during the week. Despite this, Swiatek was quite a confident favorite related to odds and started the match as expected with a relatively easy win in opening set. The Pole was already up a break in second set, which foreshadowed an easy straight sets win. Collins was not playing as well as in previous matches this week, but raised up her level since the middle of second set, which connected with some vulnerabilities on Swiatek's serve, allowed her to turn second set over and win it finally by 6-4. Swiatek regrouped well from this, as she played really comprehensive stuff in third set, being on a front foot almost from the start and winning it by 6-2 without facing any single breakpoint in a decider.
Rybakina survives a crazy battle
After whole the day full of great emotions of tennis, it was not the end till the super late night hours. Elena Rybakina and Daria Kasatkina concluded the evening session on Centre Court, starting the match way after 11 PM, which occured to be the longest fight of the tournament. The Kazakh won by 5-7 7-6 7-6(8), securing the semifinal's spot after 3,5 hours of play which ended up about 3 AM on Saturday local time. This was quite a messy show, especially in second set, when 9 out of 12 games got ended with breaks. Kasatkina can surely regret this one, as she was leading with a break 4 times, already being up a set after winning the first one by 7-5. The Russian was two points away from straight sets victory while serving within a score 5-4 and having a deuce there twice. Rybakina survived a pressure and won 3 games in a row to force a decider. The world's number 3 started third set from a front foot, leading by 3-0 with a break, but this time Kasatkina was the one to chase the score. The Russian did it so well, that she had another chance to serve for a match in 12th game, being two points away from a victory another time. This has not happened again and the settlement got moved into decisive tiebreak. It was a crazy game, where Rybakina wasted 4 matchpoints, being up 6-3 at one point. Kasatkina faced another big chance to close the match, having the one and only matchpoint on her side, but Rybakina saved with a serve, coming back to 8-8. The Kazakh won 3 points in a row since then to win this epic match by 5-7 7-6 7-6(8).