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"Good to see Brazilians conquering more and more in the sport, I will be rooting for you"- Football legend Pele heaps praise on compatriot Beatriz Haddad Maia ahead of Canadian Open 2022 final

Pele heaps praise on compatriot Beatriz Haddad Maia
Pele heaps praise on compatriot Beatriz Haddad Maia

Brazilian football legend Pele has heaped praise on his compatriot Beatriz Haddad Maia after she reached the 2022 Canadian Open final.

Beatriz Haddad Maia defeated Karolina Pliskova 6-4, 7-6(7) in straight sets in their semifinal clash in Toronto yesterday, becoming the first Brazilian to reach a final in Canada in 25 years. Gustavo 'Guga' Kuerten last made it to the championship match in 1997.

She will be playing in her first WTA 1000 final today and has triumphed in 18 of her last 21 matches, including winning titles at the Nottingham Open and the Birmingham classic back in June.

VAMOS BIA βš‘οΈπŸ‡§πŸ‡· Haddad Maia passes the Pliskova test, 6-4, 7-6(7) to reach her first WTA 1000 final!#NBO22 https://t.co/KvJk6nyxO9

In light of this, Pele, a legendary footballer who hardly requires an introduction, took to Instagram to congratulate the 26-year-old. The Brazilian wrote that it is encouraging to see more Brazilians succeeding in sports on a larger scale and that he would be rooting for her to win the title when she competes in the final.

"How good it is to see Brazilians conquering more and more in the sport! I want to congratulate @biahaddadmaia for reaching Toronto @wta 1000 final, but above that, for the beautiful journey so far. I'll be rooting for you today. You are writing a beautiful story," Pele wrote. (Via Instagram translation).

Haddad Maia will square up against Simona Halep, a two-time Canadian Open champion, in the title bout. Halep holds a 2-1 advantage in their head-to-head, with the Brazilian defeating the former World No. 1 in their most recent clash at the 2022 Birmingham Classic semifinals.

Ok TT, prediction time.How will the Toronto final between πŸ‡§πŸ‡· Beatriz Haddad Maia and πŸ‡·πŸ‡΄Simona Halep end? https://t.co/62gRX0eaYg

"I know it will be a very tough battle but I'm going to enjoy it"- Beatriz Haddad Maia ahead of her final clash

Beatriz Haddad Maia has defeated Simona Halep in their most recent clash
Beatriz Haddad Maia has defeated Simona Halep in their most recent clash

After winning her semifinal match, the Brazilian spoke about her final opponent, Simona Halep, in her post-match press conference. She described the Romanian as a very "competitive player" and expressed her excitement for the match.

"Simona is a very competitive player," Haddad Maia said. "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."
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The world No. 24 continued by saying that, despite how challenging the final match would be, she would still enjoy it. She also revealed that she planned to play aggressively on the court and correct some of the mistakes she made during her previous encounter.

"I know it will be a very tough battle, but, yeah, I'm going to enjoy it," the Brazilian stated. "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 [Karolina 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 Shyam Kamal
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