Bia Haddad and Anna Danilina: runners-up at the Australian Open

Haddad is the first Brazilian Gram Slam finalist since 1968

Published in 31/01/2022 - 10:51 By Agência Brasil - Rio de Janeiro - Rio de Janeiro

Brazilian Bia Haddad and Kazakh Anna Danilina did not lack courage in the dispute for the doubles title at the Australian Open, in the early hours of this Sunday (Jan. 30). However, the Czechs Barbora Krejcikova and Katerina Siniakova, current Olympic champions, prevailed, winning by 2 sets to 1 (partials of 6/7, 6/4 and 6/4) and the title at Rod Laver Arena, in Melbourne. Even so, Haddad has already entered the history of tennis in Brazil, by becoming the first Brazilian finalist in the Australian Grand Slam in the Open Era (begun in 1968).

Losing is part of the game, but for Bia, being in the Melbourne final had a special meaning: overcoming. In the last two and a half years, the Brazilian faced months of suspension for doping and underwent surgeries, the last of which was to remove a tumor.

"It was very hard for me. I’ve experienced four surgeries, then a year and three months off from doping, and then when I came back, I found a tumor on my finger after winning four tournaments. Then I spent five months straight out fighting. One year ago, I was playing the $ 25 000 qualifying in South Africa and today I was at Rod Laver playing against the world number 1,” she emotionally reported.

During the overcoming process, Bia, 25 years old, had the coach's support, and made a point of thanking him on the court, when she received the trophy.

“That's why I dedicated the title to my coach Rafael Paciaoroni who was with me at all these moments. I know I have a good tennis level and I showed it in these last weeks, but I have to improve a lot during this year", said the Brazilian.

And Bia really has a lot to celebrate: alongside Kazakh Danilina, the player had a successful path. There were nine consecutive victories until the final this Sunday (Jan. 30), and on January 15 they had won the WTA 500 in Sydney.

"I’m very happy with what we did in these three weeks. Personally, it was a great achievement and a great learning experience. I was able to face myself, I felt under pressure in most games and that made me serve and return in many moments of pressure. I’ve learned that not creating expectations is something very important too. Anna and I lived every moment, every game and every point. I'm sure it was a great effort on both sides”, added Bia.

Translation: Mário Nunes -  Edition: Cláudia Soares Rodrigues

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