The seeds in the top quarter have managed to avoid the upsets and we have an exciting quarter-final prospect for us – Karolina Pliskova and Caroline Wozniacki will meet for the fourth time this year in one of the rivalries of the year so far.
(1) Karolina Pliskova [No.1]
Road to this stage
R2: d. Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova, 6-3 6-3
R3: d. Naomi Osaka, 6-2 6-7(4) 1-0 ret.
Karolina Pliskova’s Rogers Cup campaign hasn’t been a bed of roses so far but as she has done all year, she has gritted out the wins when not at her best. The number ‘one’ beside her name in the draw hasn’t seem to affect her much – although she has admitted she is feeling the nerves. Added with the pressure of defending her Cincinnati title and US Open final points, it may be tough for Pliskova to stay at the top for long…
The Czech still can gain more points with every win in Toronto and she defeated Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova in a mediocre display before advancing to the quarterfinals after being pushed into a third set against Naomi Osaka who eventually retired. Once again, she wasn’t at her best but her serve got her out of trouble as she hit 12 aces and saved 100% of Osaka’s break point opportunities.
(6) Caroline Wozniacki [No.6]
Route to this stage
R2: d. Ekaterina Alexandrova, 6-3 6-0
R3: d. Agnieszka Radwanska, 6-3 6-1
Caroline Wozniacki’s 2017 season has been tremendous so far, amassing a 44-15 record and reached five finals. However a title is what Wozniacki’s missing this year, having lost in straight sets in all of her finals this year. Will that elusive trophy come at the Rogers Cup? It certainly can – Wozniacki’s a former champion at the Rogers Cup and she’s been in decent form so far. The Dane started off with a bye, before claiming straightforward straight-set wins over Ekaterina Alexandrova and Agnieszka Radwanska. Wozniacki hardly got out of second gear in both matches but didn’t need to as her solid, wall game style got the wins.
Head to head: Wozniacki leads the head to head 4-2 but both of Pliskova’s wins came this year in Doha and Eastbourne convincingly, while Wozniacki managed to claim a win too this year in Miami. The Dane leads the head to head on hard courts 4-1.
Stat: In every tournament, Wozniacki has reached the quarterfinals or better except for four tournaments – Australian Open, Madrid, Strasbourg and Wimbledon. For Pliskova she also reached quarterfinals or better in every tournament except for three – Dubai, Prague and Madrid.
Thoughts: Generally this isn’t a good match-up for both players as Pliskova tends to commit more unforced errors against counter-punchers, while Wozniacki’s hogged defence can get broken with the hard-hitting groundstrokes of Pliskova. The medium-fast court in Toronto definitely suits Wozniacki better and I feel the World No.6 will break down Pliskova’s game who has been a little inconsistent in Toronto, unless the Czech has a great serving day…