Beatriz Haddad Maia won her second WTA singles title in as many weeks in Birmingham, following up on her success in Nottingham. The Brazilian was awarded the Maud Watson trophy, following her opponent Zhang Shuai retiring with injury towards the end of the first set.
This makes it 10 consecutive wins for the 26-year-old, which guarantees her to be a seed at the 135th Wimbledon Championships, set to begin next week.
On this winning run she has beaten some big names including the likes of Simona Halep, Maria Sakkari, Petra Kvitova, and Camila Giorgi. But is Haddad Maia a genuine contender for the Wimbledon Title?
Previous winners in Nottingham and Birmingham
Both the Rothesay Open and Rothesay Classic held in Nottingham and Birmingham, respectively, are WTA250 events.
WTA250 tournaments are traditionally the least competitive on the tour, but with the grass season being so short it is important to get as much practice on the pristine surface as possible.
These are the women who have won WTA events in either Nottingham and/or Birmingham as well as Wimbledon:
- Billie Jean King – Birmingham (1982 & 1983) and Wimbledon (1966, 1967, 1968, 1972, 1973, 1975)
- Martina Navratilova – Birmingham (1989 & 1991) and Wimbledon (1978, 1979, 1982, 1983, 1984, 1985, 1986, 1987, 1990)
- Maria Sharapova – Birmingham (2004 & 2005) and Wimbledon (2004)
- Petra Kvitova – Birmingham (2017 & 2018) and Wimbledon (2011 & 2014)
- Angelique Kerber – Birmingham (2015) and Wimbledon (2018)
- Ash Barty – Nottingham (2018), Birmingham (2019) and Wimbledon (2021)
King and Kvitova won all of their Wimbledon titles before succeeding in Birmingham, so there is no correlation. However, Sharapova and Barty appear to have used their success at these smaller events as a springboard, before triumphing at SW19.
Haddad Maia will be looking to replicate this, and she will certainly be a threat as the first woman to win in both Nottingham and Birmingham in the same year.
Haddad Maia at Wimbledon in Previous Years
This grass court success has seemingly come from nowhere, as the woman from Sao Paolo has struggled to find form over the years, with injuries and a doping suspension preventing her from doing so.
She has had a much better year in 2022, particularly on the doubles court where she has won two WTA titles and was a runner-up at the Australian Open.
If Haddad Maia is to have success at Wimbledon, she will need to better her efforts in previous years:
2015 – Qualifying Round One.
2016 – Did not compete.
2017 – Round Two.
2018 – Did not compete.
2019 – Round Two.
2020 – Not held due to Covid-19 pandemic.
2021 – Qualifying Round Three.
What is next for the Brazilian?
Before Wimbledon begins on the 27th June, Haddad Maia is scheduled to be competing in Eastbourne. Due to her career new career high ranking, which will be up to #29, the Brazilian has a bye to the next round.
She will face the experienced Estonian Kaia Kanepi, in what should be am intriguing encounter on Tuesday. However, it would not be a huge shock if she was to pull out of the tournament on the south coast of England, in order to preserve energy ahead of Wimbledon.
What we do know is that no-one will want to see their name next to Haddad Maia’s in the draw, when it is made on Friday.
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