Swiatek ambushed by Haddad Maia in Toronto

Published August 13, 2022
SIMONA Halep of Romania plays a shot against Switzerland’s Jil Teichmann during their Toronto Masters third-round match at Sobeys Stadium.—AFP
SIMONA Halep of Romania plays a shot against Switzerland’s Jil Teichmann during their Toronto Masters third-round match at Sobeys Stadium.—AFP

TORONTO: Brazilian outsider Beatriz Haddad Maia toppled world number one Iga Swiatek 6-4, 3-6, 7-5 on Thursday to reach the quarter-finals of the WTA Toronto Masters.

The South American ranked 24th in the world beat her third top-10 opponent this season, but notched her first career win over a world number one as she clawed out the victory in three hours.

Haddad Maia, who won titles at Nottingham and Birmingham in June, became the first Brazilian to reach the quarters at a WTA 1000 tournament.

Swiatek, whose six titles this season include the French Open, missed her chance at a 50th match win this year in the setback that comes two weeks before the start of the US Open.

Haddad Maia, 26, will next meet Olympic champion Belinda Bencic, who converted all four of her breakpoint chances against two-time major winner Garbine Muguruza of Spain to complete a 6-1, 6-3 win in a late match.

Muguruza also had four opportunities on Bencic’s delivery but the Swiss, who won the 2015 tournament, saved them all to seal her spot in the last eight of the US Open tune-up event.

In other third-round action, Coco Gauff survived 15 double-faults to squeeze out a 7-5, 4-6, 7-6 (7-4) win over Aryna Sabalenka.

The American teenager will next face two-time Grand Slam winner Simona Halep after the former number one from Romania defeated Switzerland’s Jil Teichmann 6-2, 7-5 in 91 minutes.

Seventh-seeded American Jessica Pegula advanced, beating defending champion Camila Giorgi of Italy 3-6, 6-0, 7-5.

Pegula will face Kazakhstan’s Yulia Putintseva, who beat Alison Riske 6-3, 7-5.

China’s Zheng Qinwen ended the hopes of home favorite Bianca Andreescu with a 7-5, 5-7, 6-2 victory over the former US Open champion from Canada. Zheng will next face Karolina Pliskova, , the Czech firing down 10 aces on the way to a 6-1, 6-7 (9-11), 6-3 win over third seed Maria Sakkari of Greece.

KYRGIOS DOWNS DE MINAUR

At the ATP Montreal Masters on Thursday, Australian Nick Kyrgios produced another extraordinary performance to demolish compatriot Alex de Minaur 6-2, 6-3 to reach the quarter-finals, a day after stunning world number one Daniil Medvedev.

The fiery Wimbledon finalist has been playing the best tennis of his career and is showing no signs of slowing down in Montreal, where he next faces Poland’s Hubert Hurkacz, who edged Spaniard Albert Ramos-Vinolas 6-7(6-8), 6-2, 7-6 (7-3).

Casper Ruud kept his title hopes alive as he duelled for more than three hours to overcome Roberto Bautista Agut 6-7 (4-7), 7-6 (7-4), 6-4.

The Norwegian, who at fourth is the highest seed still standing, will play Canadian sixth seed Felix Auger-Aliassime, who harnessed his mighty serve to down Briton Cameron Norrie 6-3 6-4 to delight his home crowd.

Briton Daniel Evans fought back from a disastrous second set to overcome American Taylor Fritz 7-6 (7-5) 1-6 7-5, producing a remarkable defence as he fended off a dozen break points, to book a meeting with American Tommy Paul, who beat Marin Cilic 6-4, 6-2.

Unseeded Briton Jack Draper advanced, moving through when French veteran Gael Monfils retired with an injury while trailing 6-2, 0-2.

Draper, 20, will next meet Spaniard Pablo Carreno Busta after the 2020 US Open semi-finalist defeated Italian seventh seed Jannik Sinner 6-2, 6-4.

Published in Dawn, August 13th, 2022

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