Rothesay Open Nottingham 2022: Beatriz Haddad Maia crowned women’s singles champion
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Beatriz Haddad Maia lifted the Rothesay Open Nottingham women’s singles title with a 6-4, 1-6, 6-3 win over sixth seed Alison Riske in the final.
The Brazilian claimed her maiden WTA 250 trophy at the Nottingham Tennis Centre having only played five matches on grass prior to this week’s event.
Haddad Maia received the trophy off 2021 champion Johanna Konta in front of what would have felt like a home crowd for the 26-year-old.
“I never thought in my life that my first title would come on grass,” she said in her on court interview.
“I think because of that I didn’t create any expectation, every single point I was giving my 100%. I’m very happy to win my first title here – Nottingham will forever be in my heart.
“It was tense – on grass everything changes so quickly and Alison is a really good player who competes on every single point. I knew the match could change if I let me level down and I was trying to push to keep concentrated. I’m very happy that I was fighting with myself and that I could win this trophy.
“The crowd support was amazing – I never expected that I would have a lot of the crowd here cheering for me so thank you for making this really special for me.”
After a shaky start with four errors in the opening game, Haddad Maia’s sheer power proved overwhelming for Riske at times. When she marries up the force of her groundstrokes with a level of consistency, she will be tough to beat on grass this year, and the Brazilian star hit three back-to-back winners to take the opening break in just the third game.
Riske had to battle hard to save two break points on her next service game and stayed with the world No.48 for the rest of the set, but Haddad Maia showed no signs of slowing down as she served out the set comfortably.
The 31-year-old American began the second set with a pinpoint forehand winner down the line as she held to love for the first time. From there she had Haddad Maia on the back foot as the Brazilian’s intensity began to waiver. After losing two break points, Riske hung in there to eventually force two mistakes on the Haddad Maia forehand to take a 2-0 lead.
Almost unrecognisable in the second set, Haddad Maia lost five games on the spin and found herself a break down in the third game of the second set with yet another forehand landing the wrong side of the tramline.
But there was one last twist left in the tale yet. With the scores locked at 3-3 in the final set, Haddad Maia was furious about a line call which had gone against her, which seemed to charge her up. She let off a huge roar as she clinched the hold and in the following game, took the lead off her third break point, thanks to a double fault from the American.
With the chance to serve out the match, Haddad Maia made no mistake in completing an historic win in two hours and 21 minutes.
Haddad Maia became a double Nottingham champion later in the day when she returned to compete in the women's doubles final.
The Brazilian teamed up with Zhang Shuai to lift the title with a 7-6(2), 6-3 win over Caroline Dolehide and Monica Niculescu in the final.
The top seeds lived up to their reputation, beating the third and fourth seeds en route to claiming their first title together as a pair.