Beatriz Haddad Maia’s first WTA Tour title came at the end of a magical week. The Brazilian star, who is now ranked 32nd in the world, didn’t just win her first singles title at the Nottingham Open, she also won the doubles title alongside Zhang Shuai, a rare feat in and of itself. Not every player competes in both doubles and singles, and when they do, winning both is rare.
Haddad Maia has won 15 of her last 17 matches and her new No. 32 ranking means she’s jumped 186 places since this time last year.
“I feel great, it’s been an amazing week. I couldn’t have expected a better start to the grass season,” Haddad Maia said. “I never would’ve thought my first title would be on grass and I think because of that I didn’t create any expectation for this week.”
The tennis season is played on three surfaces: hardcourts, clay, and grass. The French Open marked the end of the clay season, with last week seeing both the ATP and WTA hold tournaments on grass. The grass season will continue until Wimbledon, which is set to start at the end of June. After that, the tour will move back to hardcourts.
Haddad Maia became the first Brazilian female to win a singles title on grass since Maria Bueno in 1968. They are the only two Brazilians to win a tournament on grass in the Open Era – the current era of professional tennis, which began in 1968, when the Grand Slam tournaments allowed professionals to compete with amateurs for prize money. Before that, only amateurs were allowed to compete in Grand Slams and were only paid travel expenses.
After her singles win Haddad Maia went back to the courts alongside doubles partner Zhang Shuai, from China, and claimed the doubles title in straight sets.