It was remarkable to see the level that world No. 24 Beatriz Haddad Maia reached in her win over world No. 1 Iga Swiatek yesterday. Swiatek didn’t exactly have her best stuff, but she had her moments—and Haddad Maia had answers for everything. All things considered, you would have had a hard time picking out which one of them was the top player in the world if you just flipped the TV on and didn’t know any better.

But the Brazilian doesn’t have any time to just sit back and enjoy that victory. She must get right back to it and face world No. 12 Belinda Bencic in the quarterfinals.

We were burned by this angle a bit yesterday, but it’s still hard to come down from an emotional win and go out and back it up immediately after. Haddad Maia looked like she had won a Grand Slam final after defeating Swiatek on Thursday, elated and smiling from ear to ear. And while she deserved that moment after the kind of match she played, Bencic is a player who will demand that same level of focus. Haddad Maia also needed three hours to earn her victory over Swiatek, so she could be just as exhausted physically as we suspect she’ll be mentally.


Bencic has also been an absolute force in Toronto this week. The Swiss star has run through Tereza Martincova, Serena Williams and Garbine Muguruza without dropping a single set. The win over Muguruza was really something to see, as she needed only an hour and six minutes to prevail. So, whereas Haddad Maia comes into this match after a taxing three-set battle, Bencic will be as fresh as can be. She’s also in the midst of one of the best years of her career, as she has won 68.9% of her matches.

It's also worth noting that hard courts have been kinder to Bencic; she's 142-100 in tour-level matches on the surface. Haddad Maia is just 32-32 on hard, and that difference was on full display when these two met for the first (and thus far only) time in Sydney back on January 10. Bencic ended up earning a 6-3, 6-2 win in just over an hour, and it’s hard to find reasons to believe that this one will be all that different. Haddad Maia is a grinder in every sense of the word, and she’s going to fight to keep herself in points in this match. But Bencic can be remarkably precise with her shot placement and she’s going to be dictating play here.

As scary as it might be to fade a player that’s performing well, it's hard not to jump on Bencic at only -2.5 here. She’s the better player and she knows how to beat this very opponent.

The Pick: Bencic -2.5 Games (-150)