Eastbourne (England) – 15th seed in Eastbourne’s WTA 500, Sao Paulo Beatriz Haddad Maia debuted straight in the second round, opening campaign this Tuesday against Estonian Kaia Kanepi, who had been her last tormentor. But now the number 1 in Brazil took advantage of the great phase and scored her 11th consecutive victory, scoring partials of 6/4, 3/6 and 6/3, in 2h25 of departure.
In the round of 16, the Brazilian has everything to challenge the main candidate for the title in the competition, the Spanish Paula Badosa. However, for this duel to take place, the current number 4 in the world needs to assert favoritism in front of house guest Jodie Anna Burrage.
Champion in Nottingham and Birmingham, the left-hander from São Paulo won the 12th of 15 three-set matches she played in the current season, the best record in the WTA in 2022. This was also her sixth consecutive victory against the top 50. She took the best in eight of the 10. last clashes against the top 50 and this year they have 8 wins and 8 losses against rivals in this ranking.
Bia couldn’t start better in the match, starting with a break in the first game. With 68% of the serve, the paulista only faced break-points in the fourth game, saving the two she faced. In the others, she passed without any scares and managed the advantage until the end to score 1-0.
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A slight drop in service utilization to 62% was enough to make the São Paulo left-hander take the worst in the second half. This time it was Kanepi who got off to a good start and won the first three games of the dispute. The Estonian still missed a break in the fourth game, to widen the difference, but held on in front and tied the game.
In the third and decisive set, the balance remained and a few points ended up defining the winner. After each of the tennis players saved two break-points between the third and fourth games, in the sixth it was Bia’s turn to conquer an important break to open 4/2.
Closing the game wasn’t easy for Bia, who opened 40-15 in the last game, but then lost two match-points in a row. Then came the ordeal, needing to save four break-points to avoid a reaction from Kanepi. In the next chance she had to seal the victory, the São Paulo woman finally got it and defined her 11th consecutive victory.
The Brazilian closed the game with seven aces and four double faults, showing that she forced the first serve. Therefore, the hit rate was 59%, with 63% of these points expired. Still, he saved 11 of the 12 break-points he faced.