Serena Williams and Naomi Osaka will play each other on Friday for the first time since the American’s infamous row with an umpire overshadowed last year’s US Open final.
Osaka won her first career Grand Slam at Flushing Meadows but the title match will be remembered for Williams’ feud with Carlos Ramos, who warned her for a coaching violation before deducting a point and then a game for her behaviour.
On Friday the pair will play in the quarter-finals of the Rogers Cup in Toronto. Williams, a three-times champion at the tournament, overcame a sluggish start on Thursday to earn a 7-5 6-4 win over Russian qualifier Ekaterina Alexandrova. Japanese second seed Osaka then closed out the day’s action with a 7-6(4) 6-4 win over Polish qualifier Iga Swiatek.
“I’ve been actually looking forward to playing her for a while,” Williams said of the Osaka match-up.