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December 29, 2022

Beatriz Haddad Maia

Brisbane, Queensland, Australia

Team Brazil

Press Conference

B. HADDAD MAIA/M. Trevisan

6-2, 6-0

Brazil - 1

Italy - 0

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. First set was actually quite tight. Did you feel it took you a while to get into the match? Was she just quite good?

BEATRIZ HADDAD MAIA: Yeah, I think there's a few things that was in this game. The first one, the first match for everyone in the pre-season, is a different kind of competition also. Yeah, we played each other three sets in the last time in Toronto. Was a tough game. We knew each other a little bit more. We already practiced together.

Yeah, every beginning is not easy. Yeah, I think I was trying to push myself every single point, to play better, to improve my game, and being aggressive.

I think that mentality that I was building during the game help me to, yeah, improve until the end.

Q. The second set you were obviously quite dominant. 5-Love, tightened up. Were you proud of the way you came back and managed to get it done 6-Love?

BEATRIZ HADDAD MAIA: Yeah, yeah, tennis is always like that. No matter the score, you need to play in the present, play this point, not think about 30-Love, 40-Love. Tennis is always challenging your conviction, your mentality. That was a nice challenge for me, the last game, as you said.

Yeah, I'm happy with myself because I think I worked well mentally.

Q. Your past year, the WTA's most improved player. If you look across the Grand Slams, Australian Open, not quite the results you'd like. Do you feel your results of the past year will help you break through maybe in Australia?

BEATRIZ HADDAD MAIA: Yeah, sure, I think all the things that I passed through the last year in the Grand Slams gave me experience to go there and do it better. Is the way that I always try to think during my career, my life.

It doesn't matter if I fail, try again, try better. Yeah, I didn't play my best in Australian Open last year, but this is give me motivation to work better, to get ready, be prepared better than the last year.

I think that gives me the motivation to work hard every day. Yeah, I'm excited to go there again and see how it is.

Q. You talked about leaning on the life experiences to give you motivation to go forward. It's been a couple of tough years, hasn't it? Talk us through how difficult the past two and a half years has been for you.

BEATRIZ HADDAD MAIA: Yeah, for sure, I had tough years. Firstly with injuries, I had to stop four or five times, start again. Is not easy to stop, to have surgery, to wait, to have the thoughts, be positive at this moment. I think I learned a lot as a human being at this moment.

Also with the moment that I was out of the court more than one year, came back after being already top 60 in the world, I had to start again playing quallies of 25Ks. Being a South American person, woman, in a world that is still a little bit machist [sic]. I know how hard I had to work to have the opportunities, to create the opportunities.

I think one thing that is very important to say is my team is always supporting me, always trying to push myself. I think the key is to not live the excuse, but manage myself. I was trying to accept when I was feeling not that good or if I was afraid of something, I was telling to my team. They were supporting me.

I think in these moments I was getting stronger to manage the day, the game. Doesn't matter how bad I was in this day, they were give me this power to keep going, keep fighting. I think that's the key that I try to live.

Q. Without them, were there some pretty dark times, when you thought you might not get back into the top hundred, top 50, where you are now?

BEATRIZ HADDAD MAIA: Yeah, for sure there is a lot of thoughts. I think the first challenging I set with my team was to be top hundred again. That was without points. I was without sponsors, everything. It's not easy to build a team to believe in the people and also to accept the moment.

I had to be very humble, to work very hard. I think because of that, I was creating opportunities and I was improving my game. I was accepting that my moment was this one that I was living and I didn't want to compare myself with each other.

Yeah, I think that was the way we were living every single day to be here today.

Q. Having broken back into the top 20, you talked about some of the challenges you faced as a South American woman, have you seen changes in people's perception of you as a sportswoman since your rise up the rankings?

BEATRIZ HADDAD MAIA: Yeah, I think one of the things that changed is WTA is giving the opportunity with the tournaments, the 125s, so we having Argentina, Uruguay. We have 215 in Bogota, in Colombia. Also is not cheap for us. We don't receive money in euros, in dollars. I think the closest flight is 10 hours by home. This is a challenge for us.

I think the environment also is very important for us. Having another players, ex-professional players on the same environment to build the mentality, to be more close to the tennis players, this is very important for us as well.

We don't have this culture of tennis. I know we need to work very hard in the base to improve this mentality. Maybe in 10 years we're going to have more players, more juniors and everything.

My dream is not only to be No. 1 in the world, not to only win a Grand Slam, is to make a difference in someone else life. I know my responsibility. Being Brazilian, South American person, I always work as hard as I can to try to make the difference and help the kids and the players who want to be one day the top tennis players as well.

Q. Of all those wins over top-five players you had last year, which one do you think was the best, gave you the most belief?

BEATRIZ HADDAD MAIA: The matches I played?

Q. Yes.

BEATRIZ HADDAD MAIA: I think two matches that was very important for me. One was against Iga. Iga, she was doing very well. She's doing very well. I think she's in another mental level today. Yeah, I was proud of myself.

One thing, even if it was windy, the match was tough for both of us. I know that is not easy to go there and serve for the game against the No. 1 in the world. This makes me feel stronger.

Also in the same week I played Belinda Bencic. She's one of my favorite players. She's really good. I know her since we are very young. We are friends also off court. I like her style, the way she's aggressive.

Was challenge for me because in the beginning of the game, I was not playing my best tennis. I was trying to be patient, have my opportunity to change. Yeah, I think that was a mindset that I create with my team. Also gave me confidence to keep going during the year.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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