Tennis-Swiatek upset by Haddad Maia in Canadian Open last 16


Aug 11, 2022; North York, ON, Canada; Beatriz Haddad Maia (BRA) plays a shot against Iga Swiatek (POL) (not pictured) at Sobeys Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Dan Hamilton-USA TODAY Sports

TORONTO (Reuters) -Polish world number one Iga Swiatek was stunned by Brazil's Beatriz Haddad Maia 6-4 3-6 7-5 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."

French Open champion Swiatek, who had a run of 37 straight wins halted in the third round at Wimbledon last month, said she struggled with the windy conditions.

"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," she told reporters.

Haddad Maia will play either Spanish eighth seed Garbine Muguruza or 12th seed Belinda Bencic of Switzerland in the last eight of the U.S. Open tune-up event.

A day after ousting Wimbledon champion Elena Rybakina, 10th seed Gauff beat sixth seed Aryna Sabalenka 7-5 4-6 7-6(4). The American will next face 15th seed Halep, who beat Jil Teichmann 6-2 7-5.

"These type of matches, 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 becomes the youngest player to reach back-to-back quarter-finals in Canada since Jennifer Capriati in 1990 and 1991.

Zheng Qinwen kept her breakthrough year on track, quieting the home crowd on Centre Court with a 7-5 5-7 6-2 win over Canada's Bianca Andreescu.

The Chinese 19-year-old, who reached the fourth round at Roland-Garros earlier this year, next faces Karolina Pliskova, who fired down 10 aces on the way to a 6-1 6-7(9) 6-3 win over Greek powerhouse Maria Sakkari.

American seventh seed Pegula rallied to beat Italy's Giorgi 3-6 6-0 7-5 and will next face Yulia Putintseva after the Kazakh beat Alison Riske-Amritraj 6-3 7-5.

(Reporting by Frank Pingue in Toronto, additional reporting by Amy Tennery in New York; Editing by Ken Ferris, Peter Rutherford)

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