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National Bank Open: Coco Gauff defeats Aryna Sabalenka to win longest match of her career

Iga Swiatek was stunned by Brazil's Beatriz Haddad Maia at the National Bank Open in Toronto, while Jessica Pegula knocked out defending champion Camila Giorgi to join Coco Gauff and Simona Halep in the quarter-finals

TORONTO, ON - AUGUST 11: Coco Gauff celebrates after winning a point during her National Bank Open tennis tournament third round match on August 11, 2022, at Sobeys Stadium in Toronto, ON, Canada. (Photo by Julian Avram/Icon Sportswire) (Icon Sportswire via AP Images)
Image: Coco Gauff made it through to the quarter-finals of the National Bank Open where she will play Simona Halep

A day after ousting Wimbledon champion Elena Rybakina, Coco Gauff needed three hours and 11 minutes to edge Aryna Sabalenka as top seed Iga Swiatek exited Toronto with a shock defeat to Brazil's Beatriz Haddad Maia.

Gauff needed a third-set tie-break before defeating No 6 seed Sabalenka 7-5 4-6 7-6 (7-4) to reach the National Bank Open quarter-finals for a second year in a row.

"It definitely gives me a lot of confidence because I know I can tough it out in those tough moments," said Gauff, who will next face Simona Halep, who beat Jil Teichmann 6-2 7-5. "These are the type of players that I need to have to beat if I want to win a Grand Slam.

"So these matches are giving me more confidence. And I know how it feels in those moments against these players. They're not going to give you anything and you shouldn't expect that."

With the win over Sabalenka, the 18-year-old became the youngest player to reach back-to-back quarter-finals in Canada since Jennifer Capriati in 1990 and 1991.

World No 1 Iga Swiatek was stunned by Haddad Maia 6-4 3-6 7-5, while Jessica Pegula knocked out defending champion Camila Giorgi to join Gauff and Halep in the quarter-finals.

"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," Haddad Maia said.

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"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."

Iga Swiatek reacts during her defeat to Beatriz Haddad Maia in National Bank Open tennis action in Toronto, Thursday, August 11, 2022. (Chris Young//The Canadian Press  via AP)
Image: World No 1 Iga Swiatek was stunned by Brazil's Beatriz Haddad Maia

French Open champion Swiatek, who had a run of 37 straight wins halted in the third round at Wimbledon last month, admitted struggling 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 said.

Haddad Maia, 26, will next meet Olympic champion Belinda Bencic, who converted all four of her breakpoint chances against two-time major winner Garbine Muguruza of Spain to complete a 6-1 6-3 win in a late match.

Zheng Qinwen kept her breakthrough year on track, quietening 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, the Czech firing down 10 aces on the way to a 6-1 6-7 (11-9) 6-3 win over third seed Maria Sakkari of Greece.

American seventh seed Pegula rallied to end the title defence of Italian Giorgi with a 3-6 6-0 7-5 victory and will next face Yulia Putintseva after the Kazakh beat Alison Riske-Amritraj 6-3 7-5.

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