Bia makes final and seeks 1st female Slam in 54 years

Melbourne (Australia) – Beatriz Haddad Maia’s incredible performance in doubles on Australian soil gained another chapter this Thursday, with her ninth straight victory alongside Kazakh Ana Danilina. The two defeated Japan’s Shuko Aoyama and Ena Shibahara, the second highest-rated duo for the title, and guaranteed a spot in the final of the Australian Open.

In another good performance of the Brazilian with the Kazakh, who comes packed after the title in the WTA 500 in Sydney, they started very well, had match-point in the second set, they couldn’t take advantage and saw the rivals recover, but in the third they put the head back in place and close with 6/4, 5/7 and 6/4 partials.

Bia and Danilina are now waiting for the winners of the other semi-final, which takes place at Margaret Court Arena. The Czechs Barbora Krejcikova and Katerina Siniakova are the main favorites in the tournament and will be challenged by the Belgian Elise Mertens and the Russian Veronika Kudermetova, seeded 3.

It will be the first Slam final for the left-handed from São Paulo, who will try to break a long fast of the 54-year-old Brazilian women’s tennis without achievements. Biggest winner in the country’s history, Maria Esther Bueno was the last woman to lift a cup of this size, winning the 1968 US Open in doubles with the Australian Margaret Court.

After that, the only Brazilian to have played in a final was Cláudia Monteiro, runner-up in mixed doubles at Roland Garros in a national partnership with Cássio Motta in 1982. Luísa Stefani from São Paulo narrowly missed the list, but stopped in the doubles semi of last year’s US Open, when she ended up suffering a serious knee injury against Americans Coco Gauff and Caty McNally.

With a place in the final, Bia and Danilina guarantee a prize pool of 340 thousand Australian dollars (just over R$ 1.3 million). If they were champions, the two share a prize of 600 thousand Australian dollars (just over R$ 2.3 million).

The match started with Bia and Danilina very firm, giving little chance to rivals. That’s how they won the first set and had a front break in the second. After losing a match-point in the Japanese serve, the São Paulo and Kazakhs went to the service to close, but ended up broken and then came the reaction of Aoyama and Shibahara, who went from 3/5 to 7/5.

After missing the chance to close the game in straight sets, the Brazilian and the Kazakh were not shaken and were firm in the third. They maintained the good level and got a break in the third game. Bia and Danilina saved two break-points in the sixth and after that they were firm to seal the victory and the spot in the final.

About Abhishek Pratap

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