Haddad Maia stuns Swiatek to advance to Toronto quarterfinals

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TORONTO — No.24 Beatriz Haddad Maia continued her excellent form over the past two months to defeat World No.1 Iga Swiatek 6-4, 3-6, 7-5 in the Round of 16 at National Bank Open. The win was the 26-year-old’s first over a World No.1 and she became the first Brazilian woman to advance to the quarterfinal stage of a WTA 1000 tournament.

Since the beginning of June, only Caroline Garcia has won more matches than Haddad Maia, who now has 15 wins. Consecutive champion on grass in Nottingham and Birmingham, the Brazilian arrived in Toronto in 24th place, the highest of his career. His form in the first two rounds was solid, notching wins over French Open semifinalist Martina Trevisan and US Open finalist Leylah Fernandez.

“I had a lot of tough times in my career,” Haddad Maia said. “I have already had four surgeries and I am only 26 years old. So when I have special moments I try to enjoy myself. Because sometimes we think, Oh no, I’m not that happy. don’t think about winning

“But the truth is that I work like 15 years to live this moment, to live this dream that I worked hard.”

Watch this: Haddad Maia’s top 5 points to beat Swiatek in Toronto

Toronto 2022

How the match was won: In windy conditions that Simona Halep described as “impossible”, Haddad Maia was the most stable player during the first set. As Swiatek struggled to generate a single break point on the Brazilian’s serve, Haddad Maia put constant pressure on the World No.1. Swiatek played 40 points on her serve in the first set compared to Haddad Maia’s 25. An early break for Haddad Maia was all it took for her to methodically advance in the first set.

“I think at first I struggled to find my rhythm on the court,” Swiatek said. “Probably because she’s left-handed and she had a hard time adjusting to her serve. And plus the wind. I think without the wind I’d manage. But it was pretty crazy.”

Haddad Maia continued her return pressure at the start of the second set. In the longest game of the match, Swiatek faced five break points in the opening game to hold on for 15-40. Once again, the set would be decided by a single break. Swiatek eventually broke Haddad Maia’s serve for a 4-2 lead and closed out the game from there.

The third continued to be a tight affair. Swiatek won the early break at 1-0, but Haddad Maia broke twice for a 4-2 lead. Serving 4-3, Haddad Maia broke again to level the match.

Ultimately, Haddad Maia’s continued return pressure would decide the match. He generated 19 break point opportunities in the match compared to Swiatek’s nine. While Swiatek bravely saved 15 break points, the built-up pressure paid dividends in the end. With Swiatek serving at 5-6 to force a tie break, Haddad Maia jumped on the Pole’s second serve to earn more match points at 15-40. Haddad Maia converted his fourth match point to close out the three-hour match and the biggest win of his career.

Match statistics: Haddad Maia committed just 12 unforced errors over the course of the long match, an impressive number in calm conditions let alone in the swirling conditions he faced against Swiatek. Haddad Maia also hit 23 game-winning shots. Swiatek finished the game with 33 game winning shots to 28 unforced errors.

Haddad Maia’s mental toughness: “I knew I had to play my best tennis,” Haddad Maia said. “And he could also beat me, even if I was playing well. So I was trying to play every point without excuses. I was trying to forget what I did wrong, the mistakes, and go for it. I was trying to live in the present, to play point by point.

“Weather conditions we don’t control, we can’t control. So it’s not something I can handle. So I need to deal with it. And, yeah, I think I did a good mental job.”

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