Sloane Stephens cruises into Rogers Cup semifinals


Ashleigh Barty and Sloane Stephens reached the semifinals of the women’s Rogers Cup with straight sets victories on Friday in Montreal.


Barty, the 15th seed, posted a 6-4, 6-1 quarterfinal victory Kiki Bertens of the Netherlands, while third-seeded Stephens cruised past Anastasija Sevastova of Latvia 6-2, 6-2.

Barty will next play the winner of a quarter-final later Friday between top-seeded Simona Halep and sixth-seeded Caroline Garcia. Sloane will face the winner between defending champion and fifth seeded Ukrainian Elina Svitolina and 14th-seeded Elise Mertens of Belgium.

Barty, a 22-year-old Australian, has won her last six hardcourt matches, including a pair of Fed Cup victories. She is coming off an excellent grasscourt season in which she won 12 matches, including a tournament title in Nottingham.

Bertens fell short of posting a third straight win over a seeded player after ousting Karolina Pliskova and Petra Kvitova in the last two rounds.

Sevastova was among Stephen’s victims when the American posted her first grand slam win at last year’s U.S. Open.