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Rediff.com  » Sports » Rogers Cup PHOTOS: Williams shines; Djokovic, Wawrinka fall

Rogers Cup PHOTOS: Williams shines; Djokovic, Wawrinka fall

August 08, 2014 10:22 IST

Rogers Cup PHOTOS: Williams shines; Djokovic, Wawrinka fall

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World No 1 Serena Williams cruised into the quarter-finals of the Rogers Cup with a 7-5, 6-4 win over Lucie Safarova on Thursday but the Montreal tournament lost two of her potential title rivals when Maria Sharapova and Petra Kvitova were knocked out.

Playing in Montreal for the first time in 14 years, Williams has looked right at home on the Montreal hard courts after she won the tournament in Toronto last year.

While Williams was not as ruthless as she was in a 6-2, 6-0 demolition of former US Open champion Sam Stosur in her opening match, the American still delivered on the big points when needed against her 15th-seeded Czech opponent.

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Image: Serena Williams of the USA returns a shot to Lucie Safarova of the Czech Republic
Photographs: Streeter Lecka/Getty Images

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'We both were just hitting lots of service winners or aces'

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"I really needed to serve well today because she was just hitting unreturnable serves for me," said Williams. "We didn't really have too many long rallies.

"We both were just hitting lots of service winners or aces. So it was kind of hard to get in a good rhythm."

Williams will now face Denmark's former World No 1 Caroline Wozniacki, who brought Shelby Rogers' fairytale run to a shuddering end by crushing the American qualifier 6-1, 6-0, in the quarter-finals.

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Image: Serena Williams of the United States
Photographs: Noah Graham/Getty Images

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'She (Serena) is ruling the court'

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"Obviously Serena has all the experience. She has a big serve. She takes the ball early," said Wozniacki.

"I would need to try and make her move, try and open up the points, serve well myself.

"Serena is obviously a great champion. She's an unbelievable player. You can see that with how many Grand Slams she's won, how many tournaments she's won.

"It's never a surprise whenever she's doing well. She's ruling the court."

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Image: Caroline Wozniacki of Denmark
Photographs: Dan Kitwood/Getty Images

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Kvitova, Sharapova lose

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Second seed Kvitova, playing her first event since winning her second Wimbledon title, could not find her rhythm in falling 6-4, 1-6, 6-2 to Russia's Ekaterina Makarova while fourth seeded Sharapova was beaten 6-2, 4-6, 6-2 by Spain's Carla Suarez Navarro.

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Image: Maria Sharapova of Russia
Photographs: Jean-Yves Ahern-USA TODAY Sports/Reuters

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Top seeds Djokovic, Wawrinka fall in Toronto

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Frenchman Jo-Wilfried Tsonga handed World No 1 Novak Djokovic a shock 6-2, 6-2 third round defeat as the Rogers Cup was rocked by upsets and surprises.

A three-time winner on the Canadian hard courts, Djokovic never found his rhythm in Toronto needing a third set tiebreak to get past Frenchman Gael Monfils on Wednesday in his opening match.

Playing his first event as a married man, the Serb had reached the semi-finals or better in all seven tournaments he had played since a quarter-final loss at the Australian Open, winning titles at Indian Wells, Miami, Rome and Wimbledon where he reclaimed the top ranking.

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Image: Jo-Wilfried Tsonga of France, right, shakes hands with Novak Djokovic of Serbia
Photographs: Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

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'Even if the score today seemed easy, it's never easy against him'

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"I haven't played even close to what I intended before going to the court," said Djokovic. "No baseline, no serve, no return.

"Just generally very bad day, very poor performance. Couldn't do much."

While Djokovic will move onto Cincinnati to prepare for next week's event and continue his buildup to the US Open, Tsonga moves into the final eight and meeting with Murray.

The Frenchman has found success over the years on the Canadian hard courts reaching the semifinals in two of his previous three visits and with a quarterfinal win over Murray can return to the final four again.

Tsonga's win over Djokovic marked the third time he has beaten a world number one but was also the first time in their last 12 meetings that the 13th seeded Frenchman had gotten the better of the Serb.

"We grew up together on the tour, we had many good years," said Tsonga, who is now 6-14 lifetime against Djokovic. "When you play against him you know it's going to be difficult.

"Even if the score today seemed easy, it's never easy against him.”

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Image: Jo Wilfried Tsonga of France celebrates his win against Novak Djokovic of Serbia
Photographs: Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

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'It's tough to lose that one'

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The Wimbledon champion was joined at the exit by another Grand Slam winner, Australian Open champion and third seed Stanislas Wawrinka, who was beaten 7-6 (8), 7-5 by South African Kevin Anderson.

French 12th seed Richard Gasquet was also a third round casualty, pulling out of the tournament with abdominal pain and handing twice Canadian champion Andy Murray direct passage into the quarter-finals.

Anderson, meanwhile, is proving to be a bit of boogeyman for Wawrinka, the South African having ended the Swiss's 13-match win streak with a fourth round upset earlier this season at Indian Wells.

The South African will next meet Bulgarian seventh seed Grigor Dimitrov, who was forced to sit out last week's event in Washington with the flu but looked back to full health taming Spain's Tommy Rebredo in three sets 7-5, 5-7, 6-4.

"It's tough to lose that one," admitted Wawrinka. "It was an okay tournament, nothing special. But I play four matches, singles, doubles together, and did a good week of preparation.

"In general, I'm feeling great. I'm feeling physically good. I'm moving well. I'm playing well. It's just that I need more matches to be really at the top."

Fifth seed David Ferrer also moved on with at 1-6, 6-3, 6-3 win over Croatia's Ivan Dodig.


Image: Stanislas Wawrinka of Switzerland returns a shot
Photographs: Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

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