Williams eases into Rogers Cup semis

Serena Williams moved a step closer to a fourth Rogers Cup title with a 6-4, 6-3 quarter-final victory over Roberta Vinci in Toronto.

The world number one needed 79 minutes to down Vinci and set up a semi-final showdown with up-and-comer Belinda Bencic, who beat Ana Ivanovic.

Vinci matched Williams for most of the first set and even set up three break point opportunities. However, with the opener having progressed on serve, Williams claimed the decisive break when Vinci was serving to stay in the set at 5-4.

Having taken the first set, Williams looked to further stamp her authority on the match and she did so by opening the second set with a break. Vinci would not go quietly though and broke back to take the score to 2-1, only for Williams to spring into life and break back immediately.

Normal service was briefly resumed before Williams reeled off three games in a row to take the set 6-3 and with it the match.

The 18-year-old Bencic awaits Williams in the final four after the Swiss sensation downed fifth seed Ivanovic 6-4, 6-2 in 90 minutes.

In a first set in which both players struggled to hold serve, with five breaks of serve in 10 games, it was Bencic who claimed the all important third break to take the opener 6-4.

Bencic continued to make inroads on the Ivanovic serve in the second set, creating 10 break points and managing to convert two of them, as she ran out to a 4-0 lead.

Ivanovic was able to hold twice late in the set, but Bencic saved all three break points she faced and took the second set 6-2 to book her spot in the semi-finals.

The second semi-final will be contested by Simona Halep and Sara Errani, who beat Agnieszka Radwanska and Lesia Tsurenko respectively in the day's early quarter-finals.