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No 1 Swiatek stunned by surging Haddad Maia in Toronto

Beatriz Haddad Maia edged out Iga Swiatek 6-4, 3-6, 7-5 on Thursday evening. She’ll face the winner of the match between Swiss Belinda Bencic, the No 12 seed, and Spaniard Garbine Muguruza, the No 8 seed, in the next round

Iga Swiatek Toronto 2022 Iga Swiatek (POL) plays a shot against Beatriz Haddad Maia (BRA) at Sobeys Stadium. || AI / Reuters / Panoramic

Brasilian Beatriz Haddad Maia edged out Pole Iga Swiatek, the top seed, 6-4, 3-6, 7-5 to reach the last eight of the National Bank Open at the Aviva Centre in Toronto on Thursday evening.

“First of all, I knew that all the matches here would be very tough,” said Haddad Maia, who defeated Italy’s world No 26 Martina Trevisan and world No 13 Leylah Fernandez in her first two rounds. “Tennis is like that. Doesn’t matter which player you are facing, you need to improve your game, and I think that was the key to all of my victories – I’m very proud of my team.”

Swiatek was bidding for her 50th win of 2022, and riding a 20-match hard court winning streak, but she was edged by the opportunistic 26-year-old, who hit 23 winners against 12 unforced errors and placed pressure on the world No 1 throughout the three-hour contest.

Swiatek – couldn’t find the rhythm in the wind

Swiatek also sees her 23-match winning streak at 1000-level events snapped. She had won titles at Doha, Indian Wells, Miami and Rome, plus a round in Toronto before today’s loss.

“I think at the beginning I struggled to find my rhythm on the court,” she said. “Probably because, you know, she’s lefty and I had a hard time adjusting to her serve. And plus the wind. I think without the wind I would manage. But it was pretty crazy out there.

“But, you know, in the third set which was pretty tight I knew what mistakes I’ve made. So I know what I want to work on and what I want to improve before next tournament, for sure.”

Haddad Maia earned 19 break points and broke Swiatek’s serve four times, including three of 10 conversions in the deciding set.

The Brasilian No 1 improves to 14-4 in three-setters in 2022, while Swiatek drops to 10-3.

World No 1 Swiatek drops to 49-6 on the season and 27-4 on hard courts.

“Next time maybe I’m going to be able to find, even though the conditions are going to be bad, more solutions and just play more solid. Because I did a lot of mistakes that I kind of don’t accept,” Swiatek said.

Haddad Maia growing in confidence

Haddad Maia, ranked No 24, will face the winner of the match between Swiss Belinda Bencic, the No 12 seed, and Spaniard Garbine Muguruza, the No 8 seed, next.

“One of the goals that we set before traveling to this season was that, to be a top player, I need to improve my game and my level playing against the top players and in the big tournaments,” she said. “So I’m happy that I’m starting to play in a good level. I’m practicing at a good level, in a high level. So I know that what I do in the practice is what I’m going to do in the matches. And I work very hard, so I believe in myself.”

Toronto WTA 1000, other last 16 results and matches (Aviva Centre, hard, USD 2.527.250, most recent results first):

  • Belinda Bencic vs. Garbine Muguruza
  • Bianca Andreescu vs. Qinwen Zheng
  • Maria Sakkari vs. Karolina Pliskova
  • Alison Riske-Amritraj vs. Yulia Putintseva: thursday
  • Jessica Pegula (7) beat Camila Giorgi: 3-6, 6-0, 7-5
  • Simona Halep (15) beat Jil Teichmann: 6-2, 7-5
  • Coco Gauff (10) beat Aryna Sabalenka (6): 7-5, 4-6, 7-6 (4)
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