Liudmila Samsonova went two-for-two at the Omnium Banque Nationale in Montreal on Friday to keep her best-ever WTA 1000 run going into the semifinals.
Samsonova, previously 0-4 in the Round of 16 at WTA 1000s, beat Aryna Sabalenka in nearly three hours in the day session, and bounced back under the lights to beat Belinda Bencic 6-4, 6-4 to book her place in the final four.
The No.15 seed never lost serve in 1 hour and 49 minutes, saving all five break points Bencic held, and broke serve once in the late stages of each set to improve to 4-1 all-time against the Swiss. The win was also a little revenge for a dramatic defeat that Samsonova had at Bencic's hands earlier this year, where she failed to convert any of three championship points in a 1-6, 7-6(8), 6-4 defeat in the final of February's Mubadala Abu Dhabi Open.
Samsonova hit 30 winners to Bencic's six, and served eight aces. Crucially, she saved three break points in the eighth game of the second set which, if converted, would've seen the Swiss serve to force a final set.
"A really long day, I don't really have the words right now, but I was happy of how I managed my energy today," Samsonova said on court afterwards. "I was feeling great on the court."
Stat of the day: Samsonova's two Top 20 wins in the span of less than 12 hours on Friday marked more than she had in all of 2023 to date. On her way to that final in Abu Dhabi, she beat Veronika Kudermetova.
For a spot in the final, and the right to play for her fifth career WTA title, Samsonova will face No.3 seed Elena Rybakina, who outlasted No.10 seed Daria Kasatkina in a late-night marathon thriller.
Samsonova has won both of her previous meetings against Rybakina, including a three-set win in Montreal two years ago.