Haddad Maia denies Zheng Qinwen in classic final to claim Zhuhai title

Beatriz Haddad Maia, seeded No.8, clinched her third and most significant Hologic WTA Tour title at the Huafa Technology WTA Elite Trophy Zhuhai. She emerged victorious in a thrilling final against No.7 seed Zheng Qinwen, winning 7-6(11), 7-6(4).

This final, lasting 2 hours and 51 minutes, holds the record for the longest straight-sets match of the season at the tour level. It surpassed Yuan Yue’s 7-5, 7-6(7) victory over Marie Bouzkova in the Seoul quarterfinals, which lasted 2 hours and 49 minutes.

Haddad Maia’s triumph in Zhuhai marks her first title above the WTA 250 level, her first on hard courts, and her first since Birmingham 2022. Despite losing three out of four matches due to a hand injury sustained in a freak shower incident in Guadalajara, she displayed her top form and remained unbeaten throughout the week.

This final was the first meeting between the two players and ended Zheng’s impressive eight-match winning streak following her WTA 500 title in Zhengzhou two weeks ago.

Currently ranked No.19, Haddad Maia is poised to climb back to at least No.11 in the next edition of the WTA Rankings, which will follow this week’s WTA Finals Cancun. Unless Barbora Krejcikova plays two matches or wins one match as an alternate in Cancun, Haddad Maia will recapture her career-high ranking of No.10, achieved in June after reaching the Roland Garros semifinals.

A dramatic first set: The 86-minute first set witnessed only two breaks of serve, both punctuated by impressive forehand winners down the line. Zheng took an early lead at 3-2, but Haddad Maia fought back to level at 4-4.

The set culminated in a nail-biting tiebreak that swung back and forth for 24 points. Zheng won the first and best point of the tiebreak with another forehand winner down the line, but it was Haddad Maia who built a 5-3 lead.

However, Haddad Maia stumbled momentarily with her forehand, squandering her first set point with a netted backhand. Zheng countered with a spectacular backhand winner to earn her own set point.

Fortune seemed to favor Zheng as Haddad Maia narrowly missed a potential return winner on her second set point, and on her third, she helplessly watched as Zheng’s return trickled over the net cord.

Nevertheless, Haddad Maia’s resilience in the face of adversity paid off. Serving at 11-10 with a third set point, Zheng’s first serve deserted her, giving Haddad Maia the opportunity to seize control and win the next two points. An unsuccessful challenge from Zheng allowed Haddad Maia to convert her fourth set point.

Haddad Maia holds off Zheng in the second set: The second set began with a dip in intensity, unsurprising after the grueling opener. Zheng, in particular, struggled and lost her serve in the third game.

But the 21-year-old Chinese player persisted, spurred on by an enthusiastic home crowd. She broke back to level at 3-3, only to double fault twice and lose her serve immediately afterward. With Haddad Maia serving for the title at 5-4, Zheng unleashed an extraordinary shot of the day – a single-handed backhand pass executed at full stretch – to convert her third break point and tie the set at 5-5.

With the momentum on her side, Zheng came within two points of winning the set, leading 6-5 with Haddad Maia serving and trailing 0-30. Yet again, Haddad Maia remained unfazed by the threat. She unleashed a series of impressive forehands to escape danger and force a tiebreak.

Haddad Maia’s rock-solid serving proved crucial as she won seven of the final nine points from being down 2-0 in the tiebreak. Meanwhile, Zheng, showing signs of fatigue, committed two double faults, while Haddad Maia hit three service winners, the last of which secured her the championship point.


Denial of responsibility! Being Sportsfan is an automatic aggregator of Global media. In each content, the hyperlink to the primary source is specified. All trademarks belong to their rightful owners, and all materials to their authors. For any complaint, please reach us at – [email protected]. We will take necessary action within 24 hours.
DMCA compliant image

Leave a Comment