In a special moment in her career, Beatriz Haddad is writing with capital letters her name among the greats of current tennis. And want more. After knocking Olympic champion Belinda Bencic out of the way on Friday, the 26-year-old from São Paulo is one step away from the decision of the WTA 1000 in Toronto. The rival in Saturday’s semifinal will be Polish Karolina Pliskova (14th), who eliminated China’s Qinwen Zheng (51st). Close to another decision in 2022, Bia has already won enough points in the Canadian tournament to enter the Top 20 and continue paving her brilliant path. Happy with yet another victory, and in a comeback, the Brazilian highlighted the importance of the mental side to be able to reverse the adverse conditions and obtain another great result.
– I’m happy with today’s work. Another hard victory, another third set here in the tournament. With each game I went through difficulties, ups and downs that is tennis. I felt stronger with the difficulty. It was very important for me to be humble, to be disciplined, because I wasn’t feeling well, she was playing better in the first set. I understood that at that moment I had to accept what was happening, I had to balance it. It was a little over the top. And I managed to gradually improve, finish the second set better and in the third, even though I was a break below, I kept fighting, working hard, because I know tennis changes very fast. I tried to give myself one more chance and move on,” she revealed.
Bia gave the message: go up against Pliskova — Photo: WTA reproduction
Before taking down Bencic, Bia passed Italian Martina Trevian (26th), Canadian Leylah Fernandez (13th) and leader of the ranking, Polish Iga Swiatek in a duel that went down in the history of Brazilian tennis. The first tennis player in the country to win a number 1 in the world, the paulistana has been demonstrating that, no matter how much adversity appears in front of her, she is ready.
– I’m a person who fights a lot for things, so in those moments I feel strong. I’m a player who competes a lot, so the more pressure I feel when working hard. Just think about what I have to do. I know that if it’s hard for me, it’s hard for the other too. So I have to be very humble at those times and leave everything on the court. I never know if I’m going to win or lose, but I try to control what’s in my control and that gives me the peace of mind to do what I have to do.
The great victory over Belinda Bencic had a special ingredient: the crowd. Bia Haddad made a point of highlighting the encouragement she received, seeing and listening to the manifestations of Brazilians present at the arena in Toronto. Setting an example is also an extra motivation.
– I heard that some Brazilians who never followed tennis are following. I am very happy about that because it is very special for you to be able to show the world that you can, for young people, for children, for girls, who dream of going, and for that too. I’m happy with all the Brazilian flags that were present at the stadium, many “let’s go Bia”” that I heard, which is very cool. And for sure in difficult times they give me strength to move on to the next point.
Still unaware of Pliskova’s victory over Zheng, Bia made a projection predicting an even and absolutely undefined clash. Even aware of the difficulties, the paulista said that she will continue to focus and go with everything in search of another consecrating triumph.
– It’s trying to leave everything on the court, regardless of who it’s against, it’s giving 100% of what I have. You have to be humble in difficult times. They are tough, aggressive players. I’ll try to rest, enjoy my victory a little today and prepare myself tomorrow, knowing that the game will be tough, but I’ll be prepared for battle.