Venus Williams vs Elina Svitolina tips, predictions and live stream: Venus out to make first Rogers Cup quarterfinal in Toronto

Hannah Wilks in WTA 10 Aug 2017
  • Venus Williams takes on Elina Svitolina for a place in the Rogers Cup quarterfinals on Thursday
  • Williams vs Svitolina Rogers Cup tennis is live from Toronto on Thursday at 7pm local/12am BST
  • Watch and bet on tennis live from Toronto at bet365 > live streaming > tennis
Venus Williams (Photo by Vaughn Ridley/Getty Images)

Venus Williams had never won a match in Toronto before this year – now she faces world no. 5 Elina Svitolina for a place in the Rogers Cup quarterfinals.

Williams vs Svitolina Rogers Cup tennis is live from Toronto on Thursday at 7pm local/12am BST. Watch and bet on tennis live from Toronto at bet365 > live streaming > tennis



After a pair of hard-fought wins gave Venus Williams her first ever match victories in Toronto, the Australian Open and Wimbledon runner-up takes on fifth seed Elina Svitolina, who is having a superb season, for a place in the quarterfinals.

Williams has rarely played the Rogers Cup and her one big result at the Premier-5 event came back in 2014 in Montreal, when she beat Angelique Kerber and Serena Williams to reach the final but ran out of steam against Agnieszka Radwanska in the final. Five previous appearances in Toronto between 1995 and 2015 have seen Williams fall without winning a match but she finally broke that streak with a hard-fought 6-1, 3-6, 6-3 victory over qualifier Irina-Camelia Begu. 

That was Williams’s first match since losing the Wimbledon final to Garbine Muguruza and given the American’s season so far, it’s somewhat remarkable that more people haven’t been talking about her as a possible champion here – although perhaps not, given that there are so many potential champions in this volatile, thrilling women’s field. Nevertheless, Williams is currently at fourth place in the Porsche Race to Singapore, having compiled a 28-8 win-loss record in 2017 highlighted by Grand Slam runner-up finishes at the Australian Open and Wimbledon – eight years after she made her last major final. Her results in regular WTA events haven’t been anywhere near as good, but Williams was a semifinalist in Miami and a quarterfinalist at Indian Wells and Rome; still, one senses the 37-year-old is very much focused on peaking for the majors and perhaps grabbing one last title while sister Serena is absent due to pregnancy.

Williams had to play a great match to make it into the round of 16 as she faced Katerina Siniakova, a young Czech on the rise who recently won her second title of the year in Bastad. Williams raced to a 3-0 lead but Siniakova managed to erase both breaks over the course of the set to level at 5-5 before the Cech was broken to love. The second set stayed even until the very end when Siniakova’s serve once again proved vulnerable and Williams closed out a hard-fought 7-5, 7-5 victory.

‘It was definitely not a given, it was well-earned,’ Williams said. ‘I would like to build on that to win number three. I've waited a long time for win number three, too, and I think I've got a pretty good chance to do that. 
‘In the day, the sun is moving so you have to watch where you're serving - the wind was blowing, but the other night too, it got colder and the rain came. Both of us are dealing with it, so it at least makes it an even playing field.’


Nobody’s been talking about Elina Svitolina much either as a possible champion, but that’s not because the Ukrainian player hasn’t had a great year and isn’t a serious threat.

Elina Svitolina  (Photo by Minas Panagiotakis/Getty Images)
Svitolina already has two Premier-5 titles under her belt for 2017, having won the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships in February when she beat Caroline Wozniacki in the final and then the Internazionali BNL d’Italia in May when she bested a fading Simona Halep. Svitolina has also won International-level titles in Taipei City and Istanbul and made the quarterfinals of the French Open – where she had a commanding lead on Halep before losing in three – and the round of 16 at Wimbledon, losing to Jelena Ostapenko. 

The main thing one would say about Svitolina is that her results in Grand Slams – she’s made two quarterfinals at the French Open – and Premier Mandatory events haven’t really made much of an impact … yet. But the Ukrainian, still just 22, has built all of her current success on solid, incremental foundations and continues to improve her game, with marked progress in terms of dictating play with her forehand and transitioning forward into the court this year. It’s no accident that she’s won 40 matches in 2017 for just nine defeats, or that she’s ranked world no. 5, or that she’s fifth in the Race to Singapore – for the record, less than 100 points behind Williams.

Svitolina made the round of 16 at the Rogers Cup last year before losing to Kerber and she had a good opening win over Daria Kasatkina in Toronto on Tuesday, beating the Russian 7-6(4), 6-4 before enjoying a rest day on Wednesday.

Williams and Svitolina have played just once before, at the Internazionali BNL d’Italia in 2015 when Williams won 6-4, 6-3. That was on clay, Williams’s worst surface, but Svitolina is very much improved since then and although she can’t match Williams’s power, Svitolina’s all-round consistency and better shotmaking could prove a tricky blend for the American if she is having an error-prone day. 

‘I haven't played her in ages, so we'll see how that works out,’ Williams said. ‘I mean, she's had a great season I think as well. She's had some wins...so I'm sure she'll be confident in the match, and I should be fairly confident too.’


Williams vs Svitolina is scheduled on Centre Court in Toronto on Thursday at 7pm local/12am BST. Watch and bet on the match at bet365 > live streaming > Venus Williams vs Elina Svitolina


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Venus Williams vs Elina Svitolina tips, predictions and live stream: Venus out to make first Rogers Cup quarterfinal in Toronto

Former Rogers Cup runner-up Venus Williams aims to continue her strong season and get her third match win in Toronto as she takes on world no. 5 Elina Svitolina, who’s having a superb season: Read our tips, predictions and stream the match live online.

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