The inaugural Tallinn Open is carrying a lot of high-quality match-ups into its third day. As always, we will preview and predict the biog matches.
2022 WTA Tour
WTA 250 Series
FORUS Tennis Centre, Tallinn, Estonia (Indoor Hardcourt)
Selected Quarterfinal- 30th September
Beatriz Haddad Maia (3) (91/100) vs Barbora Kre /100) jcikova (7) (86/100)
This has been a sensational year for 26-year-old Brazilian Beatriz Haddad Maia. She currently sits at 49-20 for the season (only Iga Swaitek has won more matches than her this year). A few years ago, it looked like her promising career was on the brink of extinction. She suffered a litany of injuries and was subject to a doping suspension. But she returned to action in 2020 and started to find some consistency. But few would have been prepared for the splash she would make this season.
She initially shone on the doubles circuit- she lost in the final of the Aussie Open. But her singles really took off during a breakthrough grass-court campaign. She won back-to-back titles in Nottingham and Birmingham, showcasing her powerful serve and brilliant abilities at the net (what you would expect from an accomplished doubles operator). Not content with mere grass-court success, the Brazilian would go on to pick up the biggest result of her career with a historic result in Toronto.
Haddad Maia became the first Brazilian woman in history to reach a WTA 1000 final with her performance in Toronto. And it wasn’t like she had some comfortable ride. She beat reigning World No.1 Iga Swiatek before taking down Belinda Bencic and Karolina Pliskova.
That result helped propel her into the world’s top 15 for the first time in her career. Her performances have cooled somewhat since then. She actually struggled in her first-round match against China’s Wang Xinyu. It looked as if she was struggling to come to terms with the faster indoor conditions. But she made adjustments and looked far more solid against the up-and-coming Noskova.
This will be her 8th quarterfinal this year and you wouldn’t put it past her going all the way. But it has been a draining year for the Brazilian and one wonders whether she could run out of gas this week.
Haddad Maia will be facing another accomplished doubles player in Barbora Krejcikova. Well, calling her an accomplished doubles player might be slightly underselling it.
The Czech star- alongside Katerina Siniakova- has now won six doubles Slams in her career. And the pair dominated this year’s circuit, winning the Aussie Open, Wimbledon and US Open. But the Czech’s success in doubles has certainly not been matched by her singles form.
That’s what she managed to do so brilliantly last year: juggle her singles and doubles commitments. She famously won the singles and doubles titles at last year’s French Open.
She then went on a run that would ultimately see her reach as high as number 2 in the world earlier this year.
But she has plummeted down to 27 in the current world rankings and could crash further if she doesn’t regain some lost momentum.
But she does seem to have found something this week, beating Tomljanovic and Kostyuk in straight sets. This has improved her year-to-date win-loss record to 18-14. Krejcikova will be looking to win more than two successive matches for the first time since she reached the quarterfinals at this year’s Aussie Open.
Like Haddad Maia, Krejcikova is a strong server with deft abilities at the net. She is probably more of a counterpuncher than her opponent and she won’t mind getting into some extensive rallies.
Verdict: Krejcikova to win in three at 36/10- Barbora Krejcikova won their only previous encounter all the way back in 2016. There’s not much you can really do with that. Both players will look to dictate on serve.
As I noted earlier, Krejcikova will look to counterpunch and manoeuvre the imposing Brazilian around the court. I think what could give the Czech the edge is her drop shot. It will test the Brazilian’s mobility and keep her slightly more honest from the back of the court.
I also think that the Czech will be hugely motivated to correct her erratic singles form.