Montreal : World number one Simona Halep crushed seven time Grand Slam winner Venus Williams in straight sets at the WTA Montreal event just hours after a delivering a marathon three-hour victory over Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova.
Top seed Halep took no prisoners against Williams, blitzing the 38-year-old American 6-2, 6-2 in just 71 minutes to reach the quarter-finals. “It’s never easy to play either of the Williams sisters, and even though she was struggling, I knew I had to be focused on every ball, and stay focused until the end,” Halep said.
“She wasn’t feeling great on the court and it definitely wasn’t her best day. And I’m happy to be the quarter-finals now.”
Halep next faces number six seed Caroline Garcia, who overwhelmed former World No.1 Maria Sharapova hours earlier. Halep and Garcia met in the quarter-finals of this event last year when it was held in Toronto with Halep coming out the winner 6-4, 6-2.
Aryna Sabalenka staged one of the biggest wins of her career, saving three match points en route to a 5-7, 6-2, 7-6 (7/4) upset of second seed Caroline Wozniacki. The 20-year-old saved three match points at 3-5 in the third set — winning a backhand rally on the first, acing Wozniacki on the second, and crushing a winner that was set up by a big serve on the third. “I didn’t win any of the match points,” Wozniacki said.