MONTREAL — Venus beat Serena in an all-Williams semifinal in the Rogers Cup.
Venus topped Serena 6-7 (2), 6-2, 6-3 on Saturday in the hard-court event for her first victory over her sister since 2009 in Dubai.
“I think for both of us, what’s so unique about the situation is that we’re both very good players,” Venus said. “I think typically you may have some siblings, one is quite good, one is not as good so you kind of know what the result is. I think we both know when we walk out there, it’s not like you’re guaranteed a win. I think that’s what makes it challenging for both of us.”
The 32-year-old Serena, ranked No. 1 in the world for the 200th career week, leads the series 14-11 and had won the last five matches. The 34-year-old Venus, ranked 26th, ended her sister’s 14-match Rogers Cup winning streak that dated to wins at the 2011 and 2013 tournaments in Toronto. Serena skipped the 2012 event in Montreal.
“I don’t think I played a great game today,” Serena said. “Let’s just face it, I served well in the first set, but that was that. So, I definitely need to go back and analyze it, figure out how to be more consistent.”
In the second semifinal, third-seeded Agnieszka Radwanska beat Ekaterina Makarova 7-6 (1), 7-6 (3).
“I definitely don’t want to have a letdown and get out there and not play at least half as well,” Venus said about the final. “I don’t want to put any pressure on myself, but I want to go out there and perform just as well. It would mean a lot to me because I’ve been dreaming of winning a tournament at this level since I got back on tour. You try and you try. There are disappointments. One day you get a little closer. So this is my ‘little closer’ right now.”
Venus won the last of her 45 titles in Dubai in February. She uses medication, a vegan diet and rest to control Sjogren’s Syndrome, an auto-immune disease she was diagnosed with in 2011.
Unseeded Venus started the match strong on her serve and took a 3-1 lead, but Serena rallied to tie it at 3 and went on to take the set in a tiebreaker. Venus dominated the second set, breaking Serena’s serve twice and taking advantage of unforced errors.
Federer advances to final
TORONTO — Roger Federer advanced to the Rogers Cup final Saturday night, beating Spain’s Feliciano Lopez 6-3, 6-4 to set up a match against upset-happy Jo-Wilfried Tsonga.
The second-ranked Federer is seeking his third titles of the year. He has 79 career titles and is a 17-time Grand Slam champion.
Tsonga beat his third straight higher-seeded opponent, topping seventh-seeded Grigor Dimitrov of Bulgaria 6-4, 6-3. The 13th-seeded Frenchman beat top-ranked Novak Djokovic on Thursday and eighth-seeded Andy Murray on Friday.
“ I’m more consistent and it’s good because it (helped) me beat three guys in the top 10,” Tsonga said. “I didn’t do that (for a) couple of years now and it gives me hope for the rest of the year.”
Federer is 2-4 in finals this season, winning at Dubai and Halle. Tsonga, a 10-time winnerm, lost in his only previous final this season, falling to Ernests Gulbis in Marseille in February. Tsonga is 4-11 against Federer.
“When you play against Roger, it’s always special,” Tsonga said. “First, because you play in a big area, in a big stadium anyway.”
And every time the crowd is for him, so it’s quite a good sensation. It’s quite a good feeling when you win against 10,000 people.”
It will be Tsonga’s first appearance in a Masters 1000 final since he lost to Federer three years ago at the BNP Paribas Masters. Tsonga’s only Masters 1000 title came in Paris in 2008.