Williams to face Swiss teen Bencic in Rogers semis
TORONTO (Reuters) - World number one Serena Williams rolled into the semi-finals of the Rogers Cup on Friday with a clinical 6-4 6-3 win over Italy's Roberta Vinci, setting up an intriguing showdown with Swiss teenager Belinda Bencic.
Williams, a three-time champion on the Canadian hardcourts, stretched her winning streak in Toronto to 14 matches but on a humid evening she was made to sweat for her spot in the last four by her 53rd ranked opponent.
Playing her first event since winning Wimbledon, Williams will next meet 18-year-old Bencic, who took apart fifth seed Anna Ivanovic 6-4 6-2.
"I don't feel like I'm at my best or anywhere near it," said Williams, who will go for the Grand Slam at the U.S. Open. "But I feel like I'm going in the right direction and I want to keep that up.
"I definitely feel more positive today. I don't want to peak too soon."
An animated Williams struggled to get control of the first set but capitalized on her fourth break point with the Italian serving at 4-5 to claim it. In the second she got the decisive break to go up 5-3 before serving out the match.
"I think she just served really well, some big serves," said Williams, who also blasted 12 aces past the Italian. "She was number one in doubles for a really long time so she obviously has a great game."
Standing in the way of Williams' return to the final is Bencic, who has eliminated two former-world number ones, Caroline Wozniacki and former Rogers Cup champion Ivanovic.
The Serb beat the Swiss teenager's mentor, Martina Hingis, in the 2006 final. Continued...