Beatriz Haddad Maia, seeded No.8, secured her spot in the Huafa Technology WTA Elite Trophy Zhuhai semi-finals by defeating Caroline Garcia, the No.9 seed, with a score of 6-1, 7-6(4) in a thrilling match lasting 1 hour and 37 minutes.
Haddad Maia’s victory marked her second straight-sets win this week, building on her earlier 6-4, 6-4 triumph over Madison Keys, the No.2 seed.
This win solidified her position as the leader of the Camellia Group with a perfect 2-0 record. It was also her ninth Top 20 win of the season and secured her third semi-final appearance of 2023, following her earlier successes in Abu Dhabi and Roland Garros.
In her debut appearance in Zhuhai, the Brazilian player joins Daria Kasatkina, seeded No.6 and winner of the Azalea Group, in the semi-finals.
The semi-final draw will be determined by the players’ race qualification numbers, ensuring the two highest-ranked players are placed on opposite sides. This draw will occur after the conclusion of Friday’s group matches.
How Garcia was defeated by Haddad Maia:
The Roland Garros semifinalist took an early lead in their first-ever encounter, winning the first 14 points. Although Garcia avoided a “golden set,” Haddad Maia led 5-0. Garcia managed to secure her first service hold, but it was too late to save the first set. The match saw a string of games without a breakpoint from Haddad Maia’s 5-0 lead in the first set to 4-4 in the second set.
The most closely contested part of the match was followed by three extended multi-deuce games. Despite some errors from Garcia, Haddad Maia served for the match at 5-4, but Garcia responded with winners, breaking back.
She then fended off four break points to hold for 6-5. However, Haddad Maia remained solid, clinching a spot in the tiebreak, which she led after Garcia’s sixth double fault.
Haddad Maia ended with 13 winners and nine unforced errors, while Garcia’s 25 winners were offset by 31 unforced errors.