"It's very special, very important to represent woman's power in this stage of tournament" - Beatriz Haddad Maia becomes first Brazilian since Gustavo Kuerten in 1997 to reach the final in Canada

Beatriz Haddad Maia is through to the 2022 Canadian Open final
Beatriz Haddad Maia is through to the 2022 Canadian Open final

Beatriz Haddad Maia defeated Karolina Pliskova in straight sets to reach the 2022 Canadian Open final on Saturday. In doing so, she also became the first Brazilian to reach a final in Canada in 25 years, with Gustavo ‘Guga’ Kuerten last reaching the summit clash in 1997.

Haddad Maia, who will compete in her first WTA 1000 final, is set to reach the top 16 of the WTA singles rankings for the first time in her career on the back of her performances in Toronto.

Speaking at her post-match press conference, the Brazilian said that while it felt very special to be spoken of in the same breath as some of Brazil’s best-ever players, she could never compare herself to them.

“Well, for me, it's very special. We have Maria Esther Bueno, Guga. I don't compare myself with them. For me they are phenomenal,” she said.
VAMOS BIA ⚡️🇧🇷 Haddad Maia passes the Pliskova test, 6-4, 7-6(7) to reach her first WTA 1000 final!#NBO22

The 26-year-old stated that she’s delighted to be representing South American women in the latter stages of big competitions.

“It's very important and it's a pleasure for me to be not even [be the]only Brazilian, but [also as a] woman from South America. We have a lot of men, Argentinian and Brazilian, playing big tournaments. But it's very special to represent women power in this stage of the tournament. I'm very proud of myself and my team,” she stated.

Simona Halep stands between Beatriz Haddad Maia and 2022 Candian Open title

Simona Halep in action at the 2022 Canadian Open
Simona Halep in action at the 2022 Canadian Open

Beatriz Haddad Maia needed just over two hours to beat 14th seed Karolina Pliskova 6-4, 7-6(7) and book her spot in the 2022 Canadian Open final. She’ll face Simona Halep in the title clash after the Romanian beat Jessica Pegula 2-6, 6-3, 6-4 in her semifinal.

Halep and Haddad Maia have played each other trice to date, with the former leading 2-1 in the head-to-head. Halep won their first two meetings, in the second round of Wimbledon 2017 and at the same stage at the Australian Open this year.

They last met in Birmingham during the grass swing this season, where Haddad Maia emerged victorious en route to clinching the title.

The Brazilian is looking forward to her clash with Halep, calling her “a champion” in her post-match press conference.

“Simona is a very competitive player. For me, she one of the most competitive players in the tour. We played each other now in Birmingham and I won this match, but I lost in the Australian Open. I lost in 2017 also. She's like a champion. She's a person who works very hard,” she said.
Before Toronto, Beatriz Haddad Maia’s goal was to break Top 20 by the end of the year. Mission accomplished. The first Brazilian to make a WTA 1000 final, Haddad Maia will rise to No.16 and can move into the Top 15 if she wins the biggest title of her career on Sunday. #NBO22

The World No. 24 is expecting a tough battle in the Toronto final and has vowed to give it her all in the contest.

“I know it will be a very tough battle. But, yeah, I'm going to enjoy it. I'm going to leave everything on the court. I will try to play aggressive. I learned a lot today because in the moments that I wasn't too aggressive, she [Pliskova] was playing better than me. The match was 5-1 to me, and I want to improve that for tomorrow. So, yeah, I'm going to try to enjoy and play point by point,” she added.

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Edited by Nihal Taraporvala
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