TORONTO : Polish world number one Iga Swiatek was stunned by Brazil’s Beatriz Haddad Maia in a 6-4 3-6 7-5 defeat at the Canadian Open on Thursday, while Jessica Pegula beat holder Camila Giorgi to join Coco Gauff and Simona Halep in the quarter-finals.
In the opening set of their last-16 clash, Swiatek struck a double-fault to hand the unseeded Haddad Maia a 3-2 lead and the Brazilian leaned on her powerful serve and groundstrokes to close out the frame without facing a break point.
Swiatek fended off five break points to hold serve in a 15-minute opening game of the second set and later consolidated a break for a 5-2 lead before going on to force a decider.
World number 24 Haddad Maia broke Swiatek three times in the third set, including in the final game on her fourth match point when the Pole sent a forehand wide.
“I knew that all the matches here would be very tough, not only top 20 players, like the first round was a very, very tough round and I won in three sets as well,” 26-year-old Haddad Maia said during her on-court interview.
“Tennis is like that. It doesn’t matter where you are playing, which court and with who. You need to push yourself to improve your game and I think that was the key for both (of my three-set) victories and I am very proud of myself.”
Haddad Maia will play either Spanish eighth seed Garbine Muguruza or 12th-seeded Belinda Bencic of Switzerland in the last eight of the U.S. Open tune-up event.
American seventh seed Pegula rallied to beat Italy’s Giorgi 3-6 6-0 7-5 and will next face either compatriot Alison Riske-Amritraj or Kazakh Yulia Putintseva.
Tenth seed Gauff beat sixth seed Aryna Sabalenka 7-5 4-6 7-6(4) a day after ousting Wimbledon champion Elena Rybakina in a third-set tiebreak to set up a clash with 15th seed Halep, a 6-2 7-5 winner over Jil Teichmann.
“These type of matches, you know, the goal, yeah, to win the tournament. But I feel like for me I needed these matches leading up into the U.S. Open,” said Gauff. “So if I have a tough moment, I can look back on this.”
With the win over Sabalenka, Gauff became the youngest player to reach back-to-back quarter-finals in Canada since Jennifer Capriati in 1990 and 1991.