Beatriz Haddad Maia, one of the great surprises of the Roland Garros 2023, spoke of the pressure that every tennis player undergoes, also quoting Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal, in the press conference after her victory in the quarterfinals of the Parisian Slam.
She said: "The day before the round of 16, my coach sent me an interview from them. I realized that everyone feels the pressure. If Djokovic and Nadal feel the pressure too, why shouldn't I feel it? We have to accept it and play against these negative thoughts."
Haddad Maia excited for this milestone
Haddad Maia watched her team in disbelief after making a third consecutive comeback, but her dream came true and she carried the Brazilian flag to the semifinals of Roland Garros for the first time.
The player from Sao Paulo beat Ons Jabeur 3-6, 7-6 (5), 6-1 to get the most important win of her career. The 27-year-old was good at not letting herself be influenced by the unused set point in the twelfth game and evening the score by playing an excellent tie-break.
In the last and decisive set, Haddad Maia dominated from the first to the last exchange and left only one game to a tired Jabeur. She explained in the press conference: "I'm really happy. Last time I lost 6-3, 6-0 against her.
It's never easy playing Chatrier for the first time. I tried to be aggressive. I'm really proud I think a tennis match is like a marathon. I am very patient: this is one of my great qualities. I'm waiting for the right moment because I know I can express a high level of play.
Even when I don't play well, I always believe I can find my best tennis and have opportunities. Incredulous at the end of the game? My first goal was to reach the third round, I had never made it past the second round at a Grand Slam.
All those who make it to the quarterfinals play well, so everyone can believe it. I knew it would be tough today, it's not easy to play against Jabeur. It is one of the most special victories achieved in his career." In the semifinal, played yesterday, the Brazilian challenged the absolute favorite Iga Swiatek.
The only precedent saw Haddad Maia prevail in Toronto. Before the semifinal in Paris, she sid: "We only met once. The match ended in three sets and I won. Iga is number one and one of the best players. She has already won this tournament twice, so I will try to enjoy myself and fight on every single point. I will leave everything I have on the court, I have nothing to lose."