Beatriz Maia photo by Cristiano Andujar/Foto Arena
By Barbara Galiza
(February 28, 2013) FLORIANOPOLIS, Brazil – Big game and big personality. That’s how one could describe Beatriz Haddad Maia, the 16 year-old Brazilian wildcard. Bia, as she’s known, got to Florianópolis’ second round, until wasting three match points and falling to top 100 Melinda Czink. It was the first WTA tournament for the 6’1” girl, but with powerful groundstrokes and a great forehand, it likely won’t be her last.
In both of her matches, she was supported by Brazilian tennis’ elite: the three-time Grand Slam Champion Gustavo Kuerten and his former coach, Larri Passos. Maia, who trains at Passos’ academy, was mentored by him throughout the week and said their presence made her first WTA win even better.
“It must be one of the happiest days on a tennis court I’ve ever had”, said Bia after beating qualifier Chieh-Yu Hsu, 6-1, 6-2, in the first round. “Having Larri and Guga supporting me, even smiling, made it mor