Pliskova into Toronto quarters as Osaka retires

TORONTO, Canada: World number one Karolina Pliskova advanced to the quarter-finals of the WTA Toronto hardcourt tournament on Thursday as opponent Naomi Osaka abandoned due to a muscle injury.

Karolina Pliskova of Czech Republic plays a shot against Naomi Osaka of Japan during the Rogers Cup in Toronto, Canada. (Vaughn Ridley/Getty Images/AFP)

After taking the first set, Czech top seed Pliskova was given a scare after Osaka fought back to level in the second set tie-break.

But with Osaka clearly in discomfort, the Japanese teenager scratched in the decider, leaving Pliskova to advance 6-2, 6-7 (4/7), 1-0.

It was a frustrating end for Osaka, who had to pull out of events in Prague and Madrid earlier this year with the same abdominal injury.

Pliskova meanwhile was left satisfied after pounding down 12 aces and not dropping her serve once.

She admitted however that she faces a tough challenge holding on to her world number one ranking.

“It’s going to be tough,” Pliskova said. “There are a few tournaments to go before the end of the year and I know Simona’s (Simona Halep) behind me. I’ll do my best to stay there as long as I can — hopefully a few more weeks.”

Pliskova will now face former world number one Caroline Wozniacki in the last eight.

Denmark’s Wozniacki advanced to the last eight with a 6-3, 6-1 win over 10th-seeded Agnieszka Radwanska, a close friend.

In other early action on Thursday, France’s Caroline Garcia defeated Catherine Bellis of the United States 6-4, 6-2.

Garcia will face second seed Halep in the quarter-finals.

Halep, the defending champion, bundled out Barbora Strycova of the Czech Republic in under an hour, winning 6-1, 6-0.

Elsewhere, Lucie Safarova of the Czech Republic defeated Ekaterina Makarova of Russia 6-3, 6-7 (3/7), 6-2.

Thursday’s evening session will see third-seeded Angelique Kerber and American star Venus Williams in action.

Source AFP



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