Birmingham Classic: Beatriz Haddad Maia wins tournament after Shuai Zhang retires

Haddad Maia is one of three players to have won multiple titles this year, along with Iga Swiatek and Ons Jabeur.

Beatriz Haddad Maia from Brazil. Courtesy of Reuters

STRONG POINTS

  • Haddad Maia was leading 5-4 when Zhang retired
  • Haddad Maia started the year after being ranked world No. 83
  • Haddad Maia set to be seeded at Wimbledon

Brazilian tennis star Beatriz Haddad Maia has managed to win her second WTA title in two weeks after Chinese player Shuai Zhang had to pull out after injury in Sunday’s final at the Rothesay Classic in Birmingham.

After the rain spoiled the party in the semi-final on Saturday June 18, the two players had to play twice during the day. Even as Haddad Maia beat former world No. 1 Simona Halep 6-3 2-6 6-4, Zhang got the better of another Romanian, Sorana Cirstea, in a thrilling hat-trick.

Haddad Maia, 26, grabbed his opponent by the neck and led 5-4 in the first set of the final, after which his opponent was forced to retire with an injury. She became the first Brazilian to win the title in the cash-rich tournament’s 40-year history.

Haddad Maia started the year after being ranked No. 83 in the world. She will now likely be seeded in the next edition of Wimbledon, which is due to start on Monday June 27. Earlier in June, she also clinched the Nottingham title.

Haddad Maia is one of three players, along with Tunisian Ons Jabeur and Polish world No.1 Iga Swiatek, to have won multiple titles this year.

Haddad Maia did not have a great outing at Roland-Garros after being eliminated following her loss to Estonian Kaia Kanepi. She lost the match 4-6, 4-6 after failing to convert a single break point. She also competed in women’s doubles in various competitions this year.

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