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Venus Williams vs Cirstea WTA Montreal live streaming, preview and tips - Former Rogers Cup runner-ups clash in rain-delayed second round

Andrew Hendrie in WTA Tour 9 Aug 2018
  • Venus Williams vs Sorana Cirstea is live from Montreal around 1.30pm local time on Thursday (6.30pm BST)
  • Venus has won both of their previous meetings in straight sets
Venus Williams (Photo by Minas Panagiotakis/Getty Images)

Former Rogers Cup runner-ups Venus Williams and Sorana Cirstea clash for a place in the Round of 16 on Thursday after their scheduled second round encounter from Wednesday was postponed due to rain.

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It hasn’t been a great season for Venus so far in 2018, but the legendary American managed to get off to a winning start in Montreal earlier this week, coming from behind to overcome rising star Caroline Dolehide in straight sets. Venus went down an early break and for a moment it appeared as if she could be headed for another early exit, but the 38-year-old figured out Dolehide’s style and ultimately won 12 of the last 14 games to emerge triumphant by a 7-5 6-1 scoreline.

"I think she had a really great second serve," Venus said after the win. "I think I got a better feel for it in the second set. In the first set, I was still figuring it out. I hadn't really seen her play."
"I think maybe she had more of an advantage because she's probably seen me play more than I've played her. It was pretty close in the first set."

With an underwhelming 14-9 record for the season so far, can Venus conjure up something special at the Rogers Cup this week? The American made the final of two Grand Slams at the Australian Open and Wimbledon, along with finishing runner-up at the season-ending WTA Finals Singapore and reached the semi-finals of the U.S. Open in 2017, but she hasn’t been able to come close to matching those results in 2018, with her best results being a semi-final run at Indian Wells - where she beat sister Serena in her comeback tournament - and the quarter-finals in Miami.


Venus, who finished runner-up to Agnieszka Radwanska at the Rogers Cup in 2014, was also unsuccessful over in Europe as she lost in the first round of Roland Garros and the third round of Wimbledon, while a return to North American hardcourts didn’t bring any change of fortunes last week as she went down to Maria Sakkari in the San Jose quarter-finals.

Sorana Cirstea (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)
Meanwhile, her second round rival Sorana Cirstea is also a former Rogers Cup runner-up. Indeed, Cirstea hit her career-high ranking of World No. 21 after beating the likes of Caroline Wozniacki, Petra Kvitova and Li Na to reach the Montreal final in 2013 before going down to Serena Williams, while she was also a French Open quarter-finalist in 2009. A serious shoulder injury that threatened her career held her back in 2015 (she’s since been forced to completely reinvent her motion), but the Romanian worked her way back up the rankings last year, making the fourth round of the Australian Open and Premier Mandatory quarter-finals in Madrid and Beijing, along with semi-finals in Nurnberg in Istanbul, Seoul and Linz to finish 2017 at No. 37 in the world.

However, Cirstea is down to a current ranking of No. 54 after a disappointing 2018 season so far, registering a 13-17 record with her lone highlight being quarter-finals at relatively small tour-level events in Nurnberg and Bucharest. But despite her poor season to date, Cirstea loves playing in Canada, and she got her campaign off to a winning start earlier this week as she took down compatriot Monica Niculescu in three sets.

Cirstea and Venus have played twice on American hardcourts - and twice Venus has emerged victorious in straight sets, including earlier this season in Miami. Both players haven’t been operating at their best level this year, but Venus matches up quite well against Cirstea - they are similar players, but the American has the better serve and is more consistent with her powerful groundstrokes. I’m not ruling out the upset due to Cirstea’s past form in Canada and the uncertainty surrounding Venus in 2018, but the American does have the edge in this match-up.


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Venus Williams vs Cirstea WTA Montreal live streaming, preview and tips - Former Rogers Cup runner-ups clash in rain-delayed second round

Former Rogers Cup runner-ups Venus Williams and Sorana Cirstea clash for a place in the Round of 16 on Thursday after their scheduled second round encounter from Wednesday was postponed due to rain.

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