Unlike at Flushing Meadows a year ago, where Osaka won her first Grand Slam title, there were no fiery exchanges with the umpire, no smashed rackets, no point or game penalties - just a rock-solid performance from Williams.
Williams spoke after her match but before she knew who she would face in the quarter-finals, saying either Osaka, who could return to the world number one ranking next week or Swiatek would be worthy foes.
Williams indeed controlled Friday's match, which took just 75 minutes.
"We haven't played since NY which was a really good match for her and I just wanted to come out and try to win a set this time because she's beaten me twice so I just wanted to do the best I could today", Williams said in an on-court interview.
Fans at Aviva Centre on York University's main campus were less forgiving, with the crowd firmly split between support for Osaka and Williams. "I just went out there and I never gave up because it's not over until it's over".
"And this is someone that I kind of modeled my game after when I was little".
But Halep marked her first win over a top-five player. "So this is such a big learning experience for me".
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"I honestly don't really think there was ups and downs", Osaka said. "So whenever I get the opportunity to play her, like, it's something that I feel is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity".
"I just needed to be more consistent and not make so many errors and just mentally be ready to hit a thousand balls if I needed to", Williams said.
"I can't really let what other people say affect me, and I just have to keep working hard and putting effort".
Osaka's form fell off a cliff after taking number one with the Australian Open title and she later conceded the pressure had been tough to handle.
"It's definitely different for me", said Williams, who has been limited by injuries this season but said this week she was "pain free".
Pliskova eliminated Estonia's Anett Kontaveit 6-3, 7-5 to set up a last-eight clash with rising Canadian star Bianca Andreescu, who outlasted fifth-seeded Dutchwoman Kiki Bertens 6-1, 6-7 (7/9), 6-4.
The American great made another slow start at the WTA Premier event, but again recovered to reach the final courtesy of a 1-6 6-3 6-3 victory over Czech qualifier Bouzkova.