TORONTO — Brazilian underdog 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 picked up her first career victory against a world No.1 as she took the win in three hours.
Haddad Maia, who won titles at Nottingham and Birmingham in June, became the first Brazilian to reach the quarterfinals at a WTA 1000 tournament.
She was the first from her country to face a No.1 since Telian Pereira lost to Serena Williams at Roland Garros in 2016.
Swiatek, whose six titles this season include the French Open, missed his chance to win a 50th match this year.
His streak of 23 consecutive victories at the Masters 1000 level was snapped under difficult playing conditions.
“At first I struggled to find my rhythm, probably because she’s left-handed and I struggled to adapt to her serve,” Swiatek said.
“Without the wind, I would manage. But it was pretty crazy there.
“In the third set, I knew (the mistakes) I had made. So I know what I want to work on and what I want to improve before the next tournament, that’s for sure.
Swiatek added: “She just used the conditions better than me. When she was playing with the wind, she was playing really strong balls.
“I made more mistakes than her. She was a bit more solid.
Haddad Maia put Swiatek on the defensive, forcing her to save 15 of 19 break points while committing nine double faults.
She limited her own unforced errors to a dozen, backed by 23 winners while Swiatek finished with 33 winners and 28 unforced errors.
“I’m happy and proud of myself and my team, it’s a special moment,” she said. “It’s not always easy to beat number one on a huge stage and against the whole crowd.
“I think I went through some really tough times in my career to get this moment. I just want to enjoy a little bit.
“I don’t want to think about my next game. But, yes, I feel happy. I believe in myself.
In further third-round action, Coco Gauff survived 15 double faults to claim a 7-5, 4-6, 7-6 (7/4) victory over Aryna Sabalenka.
The American teenager contributed just under half of the errors in the error-strewn affair, with her opponent accounting for 18 more doubles.
Tenth-seeded Gauff, who fell to Swiatek at Roland Garros in her first Grand Slam final this year, fought for three and a quarter hours against sixth-seeded Sabalenka.
Gauff finished with nine aces and saved 10 of the 14 break points she faced.
“Conditions weren’t easy today, very windy,” said Gauff. “I think I hung on mentally and that’s what I’m most proud of.”
The 18-year-old’s victory came a day after beating Wimbledon champion Elena Rybakina in the third round in a match that lasted two and three quarter hours.
The American admitted that trailing 3-0 in the final set, she needed to talk to herself seriously.
“I said that if I was going to lose, I was not going to lose like this. I had to change and that’s what I did.
“She’s frustrating to play. She plays great tennis – sometimes you hit a good shot and she hits a winner.
Gauff will face two-time Grand Slam winner Simona Halep on Friday after the former Romanian No.1 beat 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 Yulia Putintseva of Kazakhstan, who beat Alison Riske 6-3, 7-5.