Bia competes in her last tournament of the season at the Billie Jean King Cup
Photo: Luiz Cndido/CBT
by Mrio Srgio Cruz, from Brasilia
Constant ball changes throughout the season have been a recurring concern for tennis players on both circuits. And Beatriz Haddad Maia recently went through this, in the series of tournaments she played in China. In four weeks, at the tournaments in Beijing, Hong Kong, Nanchang and also in Elite Trophy title campaign in Zhuhai, Bia had to deal with these changes and adapt her training and movement routine on the court to minimize the risk of injuries.
“It’s not easy for us to adapt to so many changes in the ball. I think it’s mainly the body’s joints that feel it. In physiotherapy, in fact, some players are having more complaints about the elbow, shoulder and wrist. But I think we’re used to it,” he said. Bia at the press conference this Thursday, before the clash against South Korea in the Billie Jean King Cup playoffs, in Brasília. It will be his last commitment on the circuit in 2023.
“My goal is to always finish the year healthy and I have to take care of my body throughout the season. That’s always my first point, because it’s what allows me to play the entire season. Every Monday we are changing cities, countries and of continent. It’s not just the ball, it’s the floor, altitude and humidity. All of this influences”, assessed the number 1 in Brazil and 11th in the world.
“Particularly, I try to do everything within my control. So if I can increase or decrease here to avoid any discomfort or to feel better in the condition I’m playing in, I’ll do that. The rule is for everyone, adaptation is for everyone. We have to know how to deal with reality”, added the 27-year-old from São Paulo.
Despite the confrontation against the South Koreans being on a clay court, Bia highlighted the faster conditions, due to the federal capital’s 1,172m altitude. With the ball faster, more aggressive players and with heavier hits, if any, can prevail. “The conditions are fast, yes. Brasília has a little more altitude, a little more than São Paulo that I’m used to. I’m coming from China, which was at sea level, but we have to worry about doing what’s in our control.”
Bia will have a double round this weekend. This Friday, at around 2pm (Brasília time), she will face the 20-year-old South Korean Yeonwoo Ku, just 505th in the rankings. On Saturday morning, she will return to the court at 10 am to duel against Sohyun Park, 295th ranked and the highest ranked tennis player among the South Koreans called up to play in Brazil.
In addition to Bia, Brazil also has Laura Pigossi, Carol Meligeni, Luísa Stefani and Ingrid Martins. If they win, they will go to the 2024 World Qualifiers, which in turn gives them a place in the final stage of the competition. “It’s another special week to be part of a team that works hard all year to be here. It’s trying to put aside the difficulties, excuses and everything that can be external and do our best.”