Brazil’s Beatriz Haddad Maia is surging.
A winner of 20 of her last 22 matches, she has been especially devastating on grass, winning back-to-back WTA titles in Nottingham and Birmingham.
She briefly cracked the top 60 in 2017, but now she is now a top-30 player, after being ranked outside the top 200 this time last year.
In a wide-open field at Wimbledon, could the 26-year-old left-hander – who will now be seeded at the All England Club – be a threat for the title?
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Dating back to September 2020, Haddad Maia has appeared in 14 finals, at all levels, winning 12 of them.
We begin charting her rise from June last year, where she won a title just before Wimbledon 2021 to return to the top 200.
13 June 2021: Wins ITF title in Montemor-O-Novo
Haddad Maid won this Portuguese 25K hard-court title without dropping a set for her third ITF title of the season. The result pushed her inside the top 200 for the first time since 2019 and improved her 2021 win-loss record to 38-10.
(Rankings rise after Montemor-O-Novo: +30 to world No.188)
12 Sept 2021: Wins back-to-back ITF 60K titles
After falling in US Open qualifying, Haddad Maia headed to Europe and competed in 60K clay-court events in Collonge-Bellerive and Montreux, Switzerland. She won both, building a 10-match winning streak in the process and slashing her ranking by 50 places. She returned to Portugal for a third straight 60K event and extended her streak to 13 wins before Harmony Tan stopped her in the semifinals.
(Rankings rise after Montreux: +50 to world No.124)
12 Oct 2021: Reaches last 16 at Indian Wells
The Brazilian enjoyed some luck in the Californian desert; after falling in the final round of qualifying, she sneaked into the main draw as a lucky loser. And because she was replacing injured 29th seed Nadia Podoroska, she took the Argentine’s seeded position in the draw – which meant a bye into the second round. There, she beat Mayar Sherif, before stunning top seed Karolina Pliskova in straight sets. That marked her best-ever win by ranking – Pliskova was the world No.3 – and pushed her inside the top 100. Anett Kontaveit eventually ended her run in the fourth round.
(Rankings rise after Indian Wells: +21 to world No.94)
6 March 2022: Run to WTA Monterrey semifinals
Haddad Maia advanced to her first WTA-level semifinal in almost three years – and just the fourth of her entire career – in Mexico, after outlasting Marie Bouzkova in a thrilling quarterfinal. She lost to eventual champion Leylah Fernandez in the semis, but rose to the brink of the world’s top 60 as a result.
(Rankings rise after Monterrey: +8 to world No.61)
8 May 2022: Wins biggest career title to date at Saint Malo
In the run-up to Roland Garros, Haddad Maia grooved her game on clay in France, and at the WTA 125K tournament in Saint Malo, she came away with the biggest title of her career to that point. She beat two top-100 players and dropped only one set to win the trophy, finishing with a win over Anna Blinkova in the final. She then contested the WTA 125K event in Paris and stretched her winning streak to nine before losing in the final to Claire Liu, who avenged her loss to Haddad Maia in Saint Malo. That Paris result pushed Haddad Maia inside the top 50.
(Rankings rise after Saint Malo: +13 to world No.52)
12 June 2022: First career WTA title in Nottingham
On grass, Haddad Maia went to another level, securing an even bigger title with victory at the WTA 250 event in Nottingham. She stunned fifth-ranked Maria Sakkari in the quarterfinals and beat grass-court gun Alison Riske in the final, completing a dream week by also capturing the doubles title with Zhang Shuai. "It’s an amazing week, I couldn’t expect a better start on grass," said Haddad Maia, who became the first Brazilian woman to appear in a grass-court final since Maria Bueno in the 1960s.
(Rankings rise after Nottingham: +16 to world No.32)
19 June 2022: WTA Birmingham title, top 30 debut
Continuing her purple patch, Haddad Maia beat Wimbledon champions Petra Kvitova and Simona Halep, as well as the ever-dangerous Camila Giorgi, to reach the final in Birmingham, and won her second straight WTA title when opponent Zhang retired in the final. Now with 10 straight match wins, the 26-year-old rises to a career-high ranking of No.29, as Wimbledon approaches.
(Rankings rise after Birmingham: +3 to world No.29)