Swiatek, Sabalenka and Rybakina advance to third round after thrilling Wednesday in Montreal
To say Wednesday’s tennis at the National Bank Open lived up to its billing would be an understatement. Fans visiting IGA Stadium for both the day session and the night sessions were treatest to the best of the best, feeling every emotion that came with the rollercoaster ride that is live tennis in the great sporting city of Montreal.
Kicking off the day’s action was World No. 1 Iga Swiatek, who was playing her first-ever match in Montreal after two previous appearances at the Toronto tournament. Although she was pushed by 2021 finalist Karolina Pliskova, she was able to edge ahead in the first-set tiebreak to win it before cruising through the second and securing a 7-6(6), 6-2 victory.
In the third round, Swiatek will face Karolina Muchova in a rematch of their impressive three-set Roland Garros final from June. Muchova overcame a test in the form of 2013 NBO finalist Sorana Cirstea, using her exciting all-court game to advance 7-5, 6-4.
Other notable results from around the grounds were Marketa Vondrousova ending the comeback run of Caroline Wozniacki, 6-2, 7-5 and 10th seed Daria Kasatkina defeating Anna Blinkova by the same scoreline; Jessica Pegula and Coco Gauff kicking off their Montreal campaigns with straight sets wins; and Danielle Collins continuing her blistering form with an impressive 6-4, 6-2 upset win over Maria Sakkari.
On Centre Court, Elena Rybakina was able to finish off Jennifer Brady 6-7(4), 7-6(5), 6-3 in a match that started Tuesday night and, due to rain, ended late Wednesday afternoon.
The bonus match on IGA Stadium ultimately caused a bit of a delay for the night session, as Canada’s Leylah Fernandez and last year’s finalist Beatriz Haddad Maia duelled for nearly three hours after. It was wild card Fernandez, however, who was able to ride the electric energy from the partisan Montreal crowd to defeat the Brazilian, 7-5, 5-7, 6-3 to book a showdown with Collins on Thursday’s night session.
Speaking of night sessions, No. 2 seed Aryna Sabalenka and Croatia’s Petra Martic treated fans to a delightful contrast of styles, with Sabalenka opting for brute force that had the crowd ooh’ing and ah’ing with every shot and Martic mixing in slices and dropshots that made for sensational points.
Though Martic threatened to bring the match to another third set when she went up a break in the second, Sabalenka fought back and finished off the match in a tense tiebreak to advance 6-3, 7-6(5).