Bia bolts into Toronto semis

AN OUTSTANDING come-from-behind quarter finals win over 12th seed Belinda Bencic has seen Brazilian Beatriz Haddad Maia make history. The unseeded talent became the first Brazilian to reach the semi-finals of a WTA Tour 1000 event, achieving the feat in the National Bank Open in Toronto. Haddad Maia won in three sets, 2-6 6-3 6-3, taking two hours and 11 minutes to make it through to the final four in spectacular fashion.

Bencic, the 2015 Toronto champion started strongly by winning the first set 6-2, then the world number 24 took control, grabbing the last two sets with crucial breaks and continues her remarkable run at the event. Haddad Maia served two aces and won 75 per cent of her first serve points off a 65 per cent clip, as Bencic struggled for consistency with five double faults and a lower 64 per cent success rate. Breaking four times to three over the course of the match, Haddad Maia only won the five more points but it was enough to send her into the semi-finals.

“It’s nice because Brazil is huge, so we have Brazilians everywhere,” Haddad Maia said post-match. “So I always feel the energy. “Someone is always screaming, ‘Vamos Beatriz.’ “And today I saw a lot of Brazilian flags. “And I feel very proud of us.”

The Brazilian will take on 14th seed Karolina Pliskova in the semi-finals after the Czech ended the daring run of Chinese teenager, Qinwen Zheng. Pliskova came from behind in similar fashion to Haddad Maia, eventually getting up 4-6 6-4 6-4 in two hours and 34 minutes. In the other to quarter finals, seventh seed Jessica Pegula continued her great run to dispose of unseeded Kazakh Yulia Putintseva 6-3 6-3, while Simona Halep reached the final four courtesy of a hard-fought 6-4 7-6 victory over Coco Gauff.

In Montreal, Hubert Hurkacz ended the run of red-hot Australian Nick Kyrgios. The Polish eighth seed stormed away in the deciding set after two tiebreakers to win 7-6 6-7 6-1 and book his semi-final spot. He will take on fourth seed Casper Ruud who ended the hopes of a home nation title, defeating Felix Auger-Aliassime rather easily, 6-1 6-2. In the other quarter finals, Spaniard Pablo Carreno Busta won in straight sets over British qualifier Jack Draper, and will now play another Brit Daniel Evans who eliminated Taylor Fritz after a slow start, 1-6 6-3 6-4.


Montreal – ATP 1000 | Hard

Quarter Finals:

[4] Casper Ruud (NOR) defeated [6] Felix Auger-Aliassime (CAN) 6-1 6-2
[8] Hubert Hurkacz (POL) defeated Nick Kyrgios (AUS) 7-6 6-7 6-1
Pablo Carreno Busta (ESP) defeated [Q] Jack Draper (GBR) 7-6 6-1
Daniel Evans (GBR) defeated Tommy Paul (USA) 1-6 6-3 6-4

Toronto – WTA 1000 | Hard

Quarter Finals:

[7] Jessica Pegula (USA) defeated Yulia Putintseva (KAZ) 6-3 6-3
[15] Simona Halep (ROU) defeated [10] Coco Gauff (USA) 6-4 7-6
Beatriz Haddad Maia (BRA) defeated [12] Belinda Bencic (SUI) 2-6 6-3 6-3
[14] Karolina Pliskova (CZE) defeated Qinwen Zheng (CHN) 4-6 6-4 6-4

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