Bia on the final: ‘I have to leave everything on the court’

Bia will play in the singles and doubles finals this Sunday at the WTA Nottingham

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Nottingham (England) – Finalist in singles and doubles at the WTA 250 in Nottingham, Beatriz Haddad Maia tries to close a perfect week on the grass courts. Sunday for the Brazilian starts at 9 am with the decision of the individual bracket, against the American Alison Riske. She then returns to the court for the doubles decision alongside Chinese Shuai Zhang against American Caroline Dolehide and Romanian Monica Niculescu.

“I’m very happy to reach the final. The tournament isn’t over yet, but it’s a lot of merit to what we’ve been planting in the last two years”, said Bia, who is playing for her second WTA 250 final and seeks an unprecedented title in such tournaments. “I have to leave everything on the court, work on what’s in my control and enjoy another game. She’s a great player, very experienced and has everything to be a great game.”

Bia’s opponent in the decision, Riske is 31 years old and has already been 18th in the world and has a good track record on grass. The American has already played in the Nottingham final in 2018 and was ‘s-Hertogenbosch WTA champion in 2019. In the same year, she also reached the quarterfinals at Wimbledon. In addition, she has won two ITF-level tournaments on grass.

‘I managed to make the game I’ve been looking for for a long time’

Bia led this Saturday’s semifinal against Czech Tereza Martincova, 60th in the ranking, by 6/3 to 4/1 before her rival abandoned due to a right knee injury. During the match, Bia made 30 winners and didn’t face break-points, breaking her rival’s service three times. “I think today I managed to play a game that I’ve been looking for a long time, a constant and aggressive game. I was very convinced all the time, and that’s what will make the difference for me to reach my next goals. And tomorrow I’ll have more opportunity to do so”.

The number 1 in Brazil and 48th in the world also spoke about her adaptation to the grass courts, already with an eye on the preparation for Wimbledon. And next week, she will play another WTA 250, this time in Birmingham, debuting against the Czech Petra Kvitova, two-time London Grand Slam champion.

“Everyone here is playing the first week on grass, we don’t have many weeks in the year playing on this floor, especially for us Brazilians and South Americans. We have to adapt. I think that to play on grass, you have to be very resilient and always thinking about the present, because the game changes very fast. I dealt very well with the frustrations and mistakes I made during all the games. And I want to take that to tomorrow”, commented the 26-year-old from São Paulo, who will enter the top 40 after the tournament and could end the week as 32nd in the world in case of a title.

Bia is also the first Brazilian in the final of a tournament on grass since Maria Esther Bueno in 1968, in addition to being the first national athlete to compete in singles and doubles finals in a WTA tournament, an entity founded in 1973.

‘I’m learning a lot this week’
In the pairs, Bia approves of the experience of play alongside Chinese Shuai Zhang, 33 years old and currently number 4 in the world in the sport. The Brazilian is trying to win her fourth doubles title on the circuit and her second of the season. “It’s been very special to share the court with Shuai. She is a very experienced player and I’m learning a lot this week, using the duo to improve my serve, my return, my game under pressure, which is the most important thing.”

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