The 2016 Rogers Cup field has been whittled down to the final four. Ahead of the semifinals wtatennis.com contributor Chris Oddo runs the rule over the remaining contenders.
WTA Staff

MONTRÉAL, Canada - A reprisal of a popcorn rivalry highlights the action on Saturday in Montréal, with a Cinderella story and a rising American playing the undercard. We preview both Rogers Cup semifinals right here at wtatennis.com.

Saturday, Semifinals

Central
[2] Angelique Kerber (GER #2) vs. [5] Simona Halep (ROU #5)
Head-to-head:
Halep leads, 3-2
Key Stat: Among the four semifinalists, only Halep (runner-up) reached this stage last year.
In a rematch of last year's round of 16 battle in Toronto, Simona Halep and Angelique Kerber will renew their rivalry on Saturday in Montréal with a spot in the prestigious Rogers Cup final on the line. If that wild encounter- won by Halep and featuring a total of 32 break point opportunities - is any indication, Saturday's battle should be intense, dramatic and physical.

Since their meeting at the Rogers Cup last season, Kerber has taken the last two meetings against Halep but she is wary of the fact that she has never defeated the Romanian on a hard court. "I think every match was really close which we played against each other," she said on Friday after her 6-2, 6-2 thumping of Russian Daria Kasatkina. "I won the last two matches. But that was, I think, clay and grass. So hard court I never won against her."

Halep struggled early against Svetlana Kuznetsova in Friday's first quarterfinal, but she revved up her engines and raced to the finish, dropping just two games in the final two sets. The impressive fightback should help Halep in the confidence category on Friday, but will she be able to win the big points against Kerber after falling to her twice consecutively?

Pick: Kerber in three

[10] Madison Keys (USA #12) vs. [Q] Kristina Kucova (SVK #121)
Head-to-head:
First Meeting
Key Stat:
Kucova has notched the three best wins of her career rankings-wise in Montréal.
The dream run of Slovakia's Kristina Kucova lives on. The World No.121 continued to flummox elite competition on Friday by defeating red-hot World No.14 Johanna Konta, 6-4, 6-3, to reach her first Premier semifinal. With the victory, Kucova becomes the first qualifier to reach the last four at the Rogers Cup since 2007 (Yan Zi), and the 26-year-old will look to reach her first career final when she faces Madison Keys for the first time on Sunday.

Keys has been in fantastic form herself, winning 20 of 23 matches dating back to early May when she started her run to the Rome final. The 21-year-old American has also won eight of her last nine three-setters, including two this week in Montréal. It's been a positive trend for Keys. In each of her last two matches, she lost the plot in the middle set but was able to regain her composure and gut out the win. "I just knew in the third set I either had to step up, be aggressive, go for my shots, or I wasn't going to like the outcome of the match," Keys said after defeating Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova in a high-octane battle on Friday.

Shifting gears mid-match has worked well for Keys this week, but how will she handle the challenge of facing an unknown quantity like Kucova? "I think they didn't see me that much on the tour," Kucova admitted on Friday after her win over Konta. "That's why I can maybe surprise players." Keys will hope to spoil Kucova's surprise run, but the Slovakian is thriving in the underdog role and figures to make this a competitive affair.

Pick: Keys in two

By the Numbers
39 - Kerber is bidding to win her 39th match of the year on Saturday. No player on tour has won more.
38 - Highest-ranked player that Kristina Kucova had ever defeated before this week. She has defeated No.9 Carla Suárez Navarro, No.14 Konta and No.36 Yanina Wickmayer thus far in Montréal.
3 - Halep's projected ranking if she reaches the final. If she loses Saturday she will be No.4 next week.