MONTREAL (AP) — Serena Williams advanced to the Rogers Cup quarterfinals Thursday, waiting out a brief rain delay to beat Czech left-hander Lucie Safarova 7-5, 6-4.
The top-ranked Williams returned to play last week in Stanford, California, and won her tour-best fourth title of the season. The event was her first since she withdrew from a doubles match at Wimbledon because of equilibrium problems.
Williams has won the Rogers Cup three times when it is held on alternate years in Toronto, including last year, but she had not played in Montreal since she retired from the final with an injury in 2000.
In the quarterfinals Friday, Williams will play Caroline Wozniacki, a 6-1, 6-0 winner over American qualifier Shelby Rogers. The 11th-seeded Wozniacki, coming off a victory in Istanbul, has dropped only six games in three matches this week.
In other matches, Spain's Carla Suarez Navarro upset fourth-seeded Maria Sharapova 6-2, 4-6, 6-2 in a match delayed twice by rain, and Russia's Ekaterina Makarova topped second-seeded Wimbledon champion Petra Kvitova 6-4, 1-6, 6-2.