If Karolina Muchova had been playing anyone else, she might have won in straight sets. But this was World No.1 Iga Swiatek in a Thursday rematch of the French Open final two months ago -- in a match prolonged by two rain delays that required more than nine hours. 

The outcome, however, was the same, with Swiatek winning 6-1, 4-6, 6-4 and advancing to the quarterfinals of the Omnium National Bank tournament in Montreal. As a result, Swiatek will remain No.1 when the new Hologic WTA Tour rankings come out on Monday; that’s 72 consecutive weeks and counting, moving her ahead of Caroline Wozniacki to sit at No.10 on the list of most weeks at No.1.

Montreal: Scores | Draw | Order of play

“You have to find energy even though we’ve been here since 9 a.m.,” Swiatek said in her on-court interview. “For sure, it was a pretty extraordinary day, and I don’t think I’ve had such a situation in my career so there is the opportunity to learn something new and see what I’m capable -- even though we played this match like three times.”

And while Swiatek’s 2022 was one of the best seasons in WTA history, 2023 is beginning to resemble that breakthrough stanza. This was the 22-year-old’s 49th match-win of the season. Only one woman in the past four years has exceeded that number -- Swiatek, last year, with 67. Previously, she had been level in that span with Anett Kontaveit and Ons Jabeur at 48.

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Swiatek is the first player to win 40 or more WTA 1000 matches in a two-year span (24 in 2022 and 17 in 2023) since Simona Halep in 2018-2019 (23 and 18).

Next up is qualifier Danielle Collins, who continued her resurgence in Montreal by tallying her fifth win of the week after defeating Leylah Fernandez 6-2, 6-3.

Swiatek lost just one game to Collins earlier this year in Doha, but the American beat her 6-4, 6-1 in the Australian Open semifinals last year.

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While Swiatek finally finished her match, not all players made it onto the court. Among them, No.2 seed Aryna Sabalenka, who will take on No.15 Liudmila Samsonova on Friday, and No.7 Petra Kvitova who faces No.12 Belinda Bencic.  

Swiatek won six of the first set’s seven games, but that count did not reflect the exceptional level of play on both sides. Muchova was in most of the points, but broke down under the relentless pressure applied by Swiatek. Muchova earned two break points in the third game, but Swiatek served her way out. When Swiatek held a break point in the fourth game, Muchova double-faulted.

Similarly, Swiatek saved another break opportunity serving at 3-1 with another terrific serve -- and Muchova responded with two errant forehands. The sixth game was the best of the match and, after five deuces, Swiatek found a way to score her second break of serve.

For the set, Swiatek saved all four of the break points against her, while Muchova was 5-for-7.

The second set was a glaring reversal, with Muchova losing both break points against her -- and Swiatek, who was increasingly frustrated with a misfiring forehand, going 0-for-3. And so, like that Roland Garros final, Muchova leveled the match.

"For sure I hit ups and downs, and I felt that," Swiatek said. "I did some mistakes in the second set that are kind of -- you can't do that if you want to win matches at that stage.

"So for sure Karolina is the kind of player who is using these chances and situations, and she also put pressure in these moments, but I wanted to kind of reset and go into the third set with new energy and move a little bit better."

As the rain swept into Montreal, both players had ample time to cool off and prepare for the pivotal third set. When they came back, Swiatek promptly broke Muchova to take a 1-0 lead -- and then the rain returned.

Later (much later) Swiatek managed to hold and take a 2-0 lead. That margin stood up for the rest of the way. She finished by holding at love.