Beatriz Haddad Maia beats Zheng Qinwen for biggest title of career

The final lasted two hours and 51 minutes, making it the longest tour-level straight-sets match of the season

Beatriz Haddad Maia from Brazil emerged victorious over Zheng Qinwen at the WTA Elite Trophy in Zhuhai, China. The thrilling match lasted for two hours and 51 minutes, setting a record for the longest straight-sets match of the season.

Haddad Maia, currently ranked 19th worldwide, defeated Zheng in a hard-fought battle, winning 7-6 (13-11) 7-6 (7-4). This triumph marks the most significant achievement of her career thus far.

Notably, this is Haddad Maia’s first title above the WTA 250 level and her third title overall. The WTA Elite Trophy serves as a prestigious event for players ranked between ninth and 19th. The higher-ranked players compete in the WTA Finals.

As a result of her outstanding performance at the WTA Finals, Haddad Maia will climb to at least 11th place in the world rankings. The WTA Finals will commence in Cancun later today, offering her another opportunity to secure a trophy.

Besides her singles success, Haddad Maia also has a chance to win another title in the doubles category. Teaming up with Russian partner Veronika Kudermetova, they will face second-seeded pair Miyu Kato from Japan and Aldila Sutjiadi from Indonesia in the doubles final.

The first set of the match lasted 86 minutes, with Haddad Maia narrowly missing three set points in the tie-break. Nonetheless, she managed to secure the set. In the second set, Zheng initially lost her serve, but with the support of her home crowd, she fought back to level the scores at 3-3. However, Haddad Maia regained control by breaking Zheng’s serve in the following game.

As Haddad Maia served for the championship, Zheng once again demonstrated her resilience and tied the set at 5-5. She even came within two points of winning the second set, swiftly reaching a 30-0 lead on Haddad Maia’s serve at 6-5. However, Haddad Maia’s exceptional serving skills proved to be too much for Zheng to handle in the tie-break. Haddad Maia delivered three service winners, the last of which secured her the victory on her second championship point.


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