Tenth seed Gauff beat sixth seed Aryna Sabalenka 7-5 4-6 7-6(4) a day after ousting Wimbledon champion Elena Rybakina in a third-set tiebreak to set up a clash with 15th seed Halep, a 6-2 7-5 winner over Jil Teichmann.
“These type of matches, you know, the goal, yeah, to win the tournament. But I feel like for me I needed these matches leading up into the U.S. Open,” said Gauff. “So if I have a tough moment, I can look back on this.”
With the win over Sabalenka, Gauff became the youngest player to reach back-to-back quarter-finals in Canada since Jennifer Capriati in 1990 and 1991.
Tenth-seeded Coco Gauff outlasted sixth-seeded Aryna Sabalenka 7-5, 4-6, 7-6 (4) in windy conditions Thursday to reach the National Bank Open quarterfinals.
Sabalenka tossed her racket in frustration after surrendering the deciding point in the match that took 3 hours, 11 minutes.
Both players struggled with the wind at Sobeys Stadium, with Sabalenka committing 18 double faults and Gauff 15. Sabalenka, from Belarus, had 42 unforced errors, 10 more than her American opponent.
Gauff will face Romania’s Simona Halep in the quarterfinals. Halep, the 2016 and 2018 tournament winner in Montreal, beat Switzerland’s Jil Teichmann 6-2, 7-5.
Also, seventh-seeded Jessica Pegula of the United States topped Camila Giorgi of Italy 3-6, 6-0, 7-5, and Beatriz Haddad Maia of Brazil beat Iga Swiatek of Poland 6-4, 3-6, 7-5.
Bianca Andreescu, the Canadian who won the event in 2019 in Toronto, faced China’s Zheng Qinwen in the night session.
Switzerland’s Belinda Bencic, coming off a victory over Serena Williams on Wednesday, also had a night match. She faced Garbine Muguruza of Spain.
Haddad Maia stuns Iga Swiatek
Polish world number one Iga Swiatek was stunned by Brazil’s Beatriz Haddad Maia in a 6-4 3-6 7-5 defeat at the Canadian Open, while Jessica Pegula beat holder Camila Giorgi to join Coco Gauff and Simona Halep in the quarter-finals.
In the opening set of their last-16 clash, Swiatek struck a double-fault to hand the unseeded Haddad Maia a 3-2 lead and the Brazilian leaned on her powerful serve and groundstrokes to close out the frame without facing a break point.
Swiatek fended off five break points to hold serve in a 15-minute opening game of the second set and later consolidated a break for a 5-2 lead before going on to force a decider.
World number 24 Haddad Maia broke Swiatek three times in the third set, including in the final game on her fourth match point when the Pole sent a forehand wide.
“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,” 26-year-old Haddad Maia said during her on-court interview.
“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.”
Haddad Maia will play either Spanish eighth seed Garbine Muguruza or 12th-seeded Belinda Bencic of Switzerland in the last eight of the U.S. Open tune-up event.
American seventh seed Pegula rallied to beat Italy’s Giorgi 3-6 6-0 7-5 and will next face either compatriot Alison Riske-Amritraj or Kazakh Yulia Putintseva.