While the women’s draw did collapse to in two of the quarters, the game’s two best players have shown why they are ranked No.1 and No.2 by making it through to the semi finals once more. Iga Swiatek is two matches from defending her title with Beatriz Haddad Maia standing between her and another likely meeting with Aryna Sabalenka in the final. Haddad Maia actually won the only meeting between the two, taking a three hour thriller in Toronto 7-5 in the third.
Swiatek is still yet to drop a set at the tournament after easing past Coco Gauff in the quarter finals. She was never really troubled by the American, taking the match 6-4 6-2 to extend her head-to-head lead to 7-0. She defended her second serve well performed well in the key moments, going 4/5 on break points. “It was more tight in the first set, so I’m pretty happy in those important moments I was the one that was solid and could put a little more pressure on Coco,” Swiatek said.
The Haddad Maia machine keeps on rolling with the Brazilian winning a fourth straight three setter to make it this far. The 3-6 7-6 6-1 win over Ons Jabeur only took two and a half hours, a more relaxing affair compared to some of her lengthy matches this year. The turning point came at 5-5 in the second set, with Haddad Maia saving two break points on her way to a hold. From there, she began to take control and was never troubled in the decider. “I think one of my qualities is that I wait and I’m very patient and I never give up, so I wait for the moment because I know that my level is high. So even if I’m not playing well or even if I’m missing a few shots one moment, the tennis will appear, and I’ll have my opportunity to go for it.” she said.
Haddad Maia’s previous win came on the type of surface likely to favour her the best and Swiatek the least. The World No.1 is just too dominant on clay and will be able to handle the power of the Brazilian on this surface while having no real weakness for her opponent to exploit in this one. Relying on Haddad Maia to tire out after so many long matches seems a foolish strategy but if anyone is able to wear her down on a slow surface, it feels like it has to be a player as relentless as Swiatek.
Prediction – Iga Swiatek in straight sets