Beatriz Haddad Maia dropped a Brazilian bomb on the WTA Toronto Masters as she put out former finalist Karolina Pliskova 6-4, 7-6(7) on Saturday to reach the final against Simona Halep.
Haddad Maia, winner of 17 matches since June which yielded back-to-back grass trophies in Britain, followed up on this week’s upset win over world No. 1 Igs Swiatek.
Formerly top-ranked Halep will aim for a third title in Canada after winning in 2016 and 2018.
The 30-year-old Romanian with Wimbledon and Roland Garros titles booked a spot in her 18th Masters 1000 final – she owns eight wins – with a 2-6, 6-3, 6-4 defeat of seventh-seeded American Jessica Pegula.
“But it was a great fight. I’m really happy that I went through,” Halep said after defeating Pegula.”I’m building the confidence, I’m building the game, and I’m really happy that I’m in this position.”
Haddad Maia led 5-1 in her opening set against Pliskova, one of the biggest serving threats on the WTA but had to hold off the Czech to take the opener.
In the second set, Pliskova was unable to maintain a 4-1 margin as she went down to defeat in two hours.
No. 24 Haddad Maia is the first Brazilian to reach a WTA Masters final and will enter to the Top 20 next week.
Halep let her temper flare at a delicate moment in her win over Pegula. Missing on a pair of match points, she angrily swiped the cement with her racquet without doing any damage to the tool.
“The fire is back, it’s a good sign if I do that,” she said. Halep saved 12 of 17 break points as she won a 37th match this season from her seventh semi-final of 2022.