The first six months of 2022 were special for Beatriz Haddad Maia. At the age of 26, the Brazilian tennis player is enjoying a spectacular start to the season, which raised her to the best position of a Brazilian in the history of the WTA ranking (#27) and consolidated her once and for all as a candidate, especially in the grass season.
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Beatriz Haddad Maia in Eastbourne — Photo: Robert Prange/Getty Images
The Brazilian’s path from the emergence as a promise of Brazilian tennis at age 18, in 2014, to consolidation in 2022, however, was very bumpy. From the fight with injuries, to the doping suspension and the pandemic, Haddad Maia needed to be resilient to find himself and take off.
Bia Haddad’s Career Numbers
|PROFESSIONAL TITLES||2 (Nottingham and Birmingham)|
|HIGHEST RANKING||27 (06/27/2022)|
|TOTAL AWARD||BRL 9.3 million|
Haddad Maia gained attention in 2010, when at the age of 14 he competed in tournaments in the 18-year-old youth category. Even facing older athletes, she already showed the qualities that today make her shine on the courts.
Three years later, at 17, Bia was already splitting between professional and youth competitions when she suffered two shoulder injuries that ruled her out of the courts for four months in total throughout that season.
The shoulder problem began to plague the Brazilian, even taking her out of the bronze dispute in the doubles at the Pan de Toronto, in 2015, when she was the main name of the Brazilian women’s team, and missing the entire end of the season after undergoing surgery on the spot. .
Recovered, she won ITF tournament titles the following season, but at the end of the year she fractured three vertebrae in a domestic accident. According to reports on a social network, “it was a silly stumble”.
Beatriz Haddad Maia beats Sloane Stephens at the WTA in Acapulco – Photo: Getty Images
The beginning of 2019 was positive for the Brazilian. At the WTA 500 in Acapulco, she beat Sloane Stephens, at the time number 4 in the world, becoming the first Brazilian to beat an athlete so highly ranked since 1969. S-22 and the SARM LGD-4033).
Bia proved in the trial that it was the contamination of a manipulated supplement she used. The punishment was only 10 months, considered lenient for a doping case.
Released to return to the courts in May 2020, a new problem emerged for the Brazilian: the Covid-19 pandemic. All events were at a standstill at that time of year. The period away from competitions exceeded one year, returning only in September.
Beatriz returned to the circuit having to deal with a drop of more than 200 positions in the ranking, from 95th position in August 2019 to 358th in November 2020. The recovery was gradual. Participating in Challengers and ITF, the tennis player climbed almost 300 positions, ending 2021 as the 82nd in the world.
Bia Haddad Maia was runner-up in the Australian Open doubles – Photo: Getty Images
The beginning of the year already showed signs that 2022 would be different for Bia Haddad Maia. Alongside Anna Danilina, she went to the Australian Open doubles final, taking the runner-up. Months later, she was champion of the Challenger de Saint-Malo, on clay, and secured a spot in the main bracket at Roland Garros.
But it was on grass that the Brazilian’s game put her in the elite. In three tournaments played on the floor, there were two titles, the first two of his career at a professional level, in the WTA 250 in Nottingham and Birmingham, and a semifinal in the WTA 500 in Eastbourne.
The good performance guaranteed Bia with the best ranking in history for a Brazilian woman, 27th position, and a spot as seed in a grand slam, Wimbledon, for the first time in her career.
After years of battle against her own body and adversity, Bia Haddad arrives at Wimbledon in great shape and surrounded by expectations, making the Brazilian fan dream again.