TORONTO — No. 24 Beatriz Haddad Maia continued her stellar form over the past two months, defeating world No. 1 Iga Swiatek 6-4, 3-6, 7-5 in the round of 16 of the National Bank Open. The victory was the 26-year-old’s first win over a world No. 1 and she became the first Brazilian to make it to the quarterfinals of a WTA 1000 tournament.
Since the beginning of June, only Caroline Garcia has won more games than Haddad Maia, who now has 15 wins under her belt. The Brazilian, a back-to-back champion on grass in Nottingham and Birmingham, arrived in Toronto with a career-best finish of 24th. Her form in the first two rounds was strong, beating French Open semifinalist Martina Trevisan and US Open finalist Leylah Fernandez.
How the match was won: In windy conditions that Simona Halep described as ‘impossible’, Haddad Maia was the more stable player in the first set. While Swiatek struggled to get a single break point on the Brazilian’s serve, Haddad Maia consistently pressured the world no. Swiatek played 40 points on 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 march through the first set.
Haddad Maia continued her counter pressure early in the second set. In the longest game of the game, Swiatek hit five break points in the opening game to hold from 15-40. Once again the set would be decided by a single break. Swiatek eventually broke through Haddad Maia’s serve to take a 4-2 lead and closed from there.
The third remained a close affair. Swiatek earned the early break at 1-0 but Haddad Maia broke twice for a 4-2 lead. At 4-3, Haddad Maia was broken again to level the match.
Ultimately, Haddad Maia’s continued back pressure would decide the game. She had 19 break point chances in the match compared to Swiatek’s nine. While Swiatek served at 5-6 to force a tiebreak, Haddad Maia jumped on the Pole’s second serve to score more match points at 15-40. Swiatek stepped forward to save two more match points, but finally relented and sent a forehand wide on Haddad Maia’s fourth match point to end the three-hour match.
Statistics of the game: Haddad Maia made just 12 unforced errors over the course of the long game, an impressive tally in calm conditions, not to mention the turbulent conditions she faced against Swiatek. Haddad Maia also met 23 winners. Swiatek finished the match with 33 winners to 28 unforced errors.