‘I feel that now I belong to that level’, says Bia

Bia surpassed Canadian Leylah Fernandez, number 13 in the world and a finalist at the US Open

Photo: Jimmie48/WTA

Toronto (Canada) – After achieving an impressive victory in the second round of the WTA 1000 in Toronto, Beatriz Haddad Maia celebrated the result against Canadian Leylah Fernandez, number 13 in the world and finalist of the last US Open. The Brazilian, currently 24th in the ranking, feels increasingly ready to perform at the highest level of the circuit. Wednesday’s triumph was the sixth of his career and fourth of the season against rivals in the top 20.

“I work hard to live moments like this and be with this ranking. I feel that now I belong at that level and I’m very happy for the work I’m doing with my team”, said Bia in the interview on the court, after beating Fernandez by 7/6 (7-4) and 6/1. “This is just another match in my career, I always try to motivate myself, regardless if I’m in a big or small tournament.”

“I was very happy and satisfied with my work today. I think I gave myself mentally and I was very disciplined in the tactical part. I have been working with my team to maintain this consistency. I was happy that in the difficult moments of the game I managed to hold on and maintain the discipline”, added the 26-year-old from São Paulo, who will be the first Brazilian in the round of 16 in Canada since Niege Dias in 1987.

Guaranteed in the round of 16 in Canada, Bia will have the mission to challenge Polish Iga Swiatek, world ranking leader and winner of six tournaments this season. The confrontation is unprecedented on the circuit and takes place around 16:00 (Brasília time) this Thursday.

“Iga is a great player and is having the best year of his career. I will try to play the same way as in the last few weeks, but also try to raise my level and enjoy the moment. I’m sorry I beat a home player today, and I hope that tomorrow the public will cheer for me. I will try my best”, said the Brazilian, who will face a world number 1 for the first time in her career.

“Today, Iga is the favorite against all the players on the tour. It would be unfair not to say that. She showed the level during this year, in the results and in the way she handles things, both on and off the court. this coldness and it’s very rational. But tennis is 50 to 50. I believe a lot in my tennis and tomorrow will be a day to challenge myself. Playing on a big court against the number 1 in the world is every tennis player’s dream, so I’m going to leave everything on the court and see what happens”, concluded the current 24th in the world.

Drop in the doubles round of 16
In the doubles tournament, Bia and the Czech Barbora Krejcikova, former number 1 in the sport, were eliminated in the round of 16. After a rather quiet debut last Tuesday, they were surpassed by North American Nicole Melichar and Australian Ellen Perez by 1/6, 6/2 and 10-7. For the victory in the first round, against the American Kaitlyn Christian and the Georgian Oksana Kalashnikova, Bia and Krejcikova receive 105 points in the ranking.

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