Tennis player Beatrice Haddad Maya, 26, couldn’t resist former world number one Simona Halep and lost in the WTA 1000 final in Toronto, Canada.
The Brazilian outperformed the Brazilian (who is currently fifteenth in the standings) by two sets to 1, with the partial 6/3, 2/6 and 6/3, in a decision of two hours and 16 minutes with a good presence of the Brazilian fans. This Sunday (14).
Pia even opened 3-0 in the first set, but struggled to come back. In a second, force his game to tie the match. In the end, he saw Halep break his serve twice and become the champion in the third game.
After the match, the Brazilian player thanked her team and coach, Rafael Bassiaroni. “There are a lot of people behind it, especially Rafa, who have built this mindset inside of me. I’m getting more competitive every week, and I think we’re working in the right direction. Results are coming in because we focus on this process.”
It was a sad end to the incredible campaign that Pia had built, in which she toppled the current world number one, the Olympic champion and another former leader in the standings.
Even with the defeat, Paulista achieved several personal marks and became the first Brazilian in the top 20 women’s tennis of the WTA era. It is currently ranked 24th, and is expected to occupy 16th place in the next official list update.
“The rankings and the results only reflect how hard working with my team is. I set a goal of being in the top 20 by the end of the US Open. [setembro] And I’m glad I did. The goals serve as motivation to see where we want to go,” Pia said before the final, when asked about her great season.
It was the first time a Brazilian had reached the championship decision of the 1000, the most important category in the ring under a Grand Slam.
“We have Maria Esther Bueno and Goga Kuerten. I don’t compare myself to them, they are both amazing. But he is important and makes me happy, not only as a Brazilian, but as a South American woman. I am proud of myself and my team,” he said after the semi-finals.
On the way to the decision, Pia overtook Poland’s Iga Swetic, the world number 1 and Roland Garros champion, by winning two sets, and this was the first time that a Brazilian had defeated the leader of the standings.
In the quarter-finals, another iron test: the competitor was Swiss Belinda Bencic (12 in the world), the current Olympic champion. Another 2-1 win.
In the next stage, the native of Sao Paulo outperformed the Czech Karolina Pliskova, who previously took first place in the ranking (currently 14th). In the second half, Villa recovered 5-2 to turn the set and win the tiebreak 2-0.
The victory received honors and fans from sports personalities, such as Pele. And the king posted on social networks, “How nice it is to see the Brazilians win more and more in sports. You write a beautiful story.”
In the final, Halep’s experience was too heavy. At the age of 30, the Romanian contested her 1,000th WTA decision in her career, a record she now holds alongside American Serena Williams.
Bea and Halep faced each other three times. The history of the confrontation now records three victories for the Romanian and one for the Brazilian.
If today Pia celebrated her entry into the top 20, this path has not been without obstacles and disappointments.
In 2017 and 2018, she was 58th in the rankings, even then her best mark. But the following year, the tennis player was arrested for a drug test and sentenced to ten months.
The penalty would be higher, but lower because his defense was able to prove that the anabolics in the test were ingested from tainted supplements. Throughout this period, she was prohibited from exercising.
The athlete was scheduled to return to the stadiums in May 2020, but the circuit was temporarily suspended due to the Covid-19 pandemic and did not return until August.
With that, Pia slipped to 1,342 in the rankings, forcing her to play in several minor tournaments to grow again in the rankings.
In 2021, he started at 359th. And in October, he celebrated the biggest victory of his career to date. At the WTA 1000 in Indian Wells (US), he won third place in the world at the time, the same Pliskova that he defeated in Toronto.
This year, Bolstana has been standing out since the first semester, when she was runner-up at the Australian Open Doubles and WTA 500 Championships in Sydney, alongside Kazakh Anna Danielina, in January.
In May, he won his first WTA 125, in Saint-Malo (France), went to the final in Paris in the same category and was among the top 40 in the singles standings for the first time.
The following month, she won the WTA 250 Championship in Nottingham, England, in a campaign that included a victory over Greece’s Maria Sakkari, then world number 5, and also won the doubles title, along with China’s Shuai Zhang.
The cup was the first women’s grasscourt title in 54 years, since Maria Esther Bueno’s victory in 1968.
The following week, Pea won the Birmingham WTA 250 Championship, once again on grass, in a run that went on to beat Halep in the semifinals.
The only downfall of the season was his Wimbledon debut. Buoyed by achievements in other areas of England, Brazil’s expectations fell to the ground in their debut, after their defeat to Slovenian Kaja Jovan (62nd place).
The next Grand Slam tournament, in which Pia may try to win her first title at the highest level in tennis, will be the US Open in New York, starting August 29. Now among the top 20 tennis players on the planet.
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