Beatriz Haddad Maia (BRA)
Brazil’s Beatriz Haddad Maia remains on course to deliver a home victory at the 30th Copa Gerdau in Porto Alegre after she set up a fascinating girls’ singles final against second seeded Russian Vavara Flink. Italy’s Gianluigi Quinzi and American Stefan Kozlov will go head-to-head in the boys’ singles final.
Sixteen-year-old Haddad Maia, from Sao Paolo, is seeded fifth at the Grade A clay-court event and has bounced back strongly from last week’s early defeat at the 43rd Banana Bowl. She fended off a determined challenge from 13th seed Maria Marfutina of Russia in the semi-finals, eking out a 3-6, 6-4, 6-1 win to set up what promises to be a compelling clash with Flink.
Flink, also 16, has been in excellent form in South America so far this year. She won the Copa Del Cafe hard-court event in Costa Rica before coming through qualifying and winning all the way through to the title at the Copa Barranquilla in Columbia. She followed that up with a run to the final of the ITF ATP Guayas in Ecuador and while she suffered a slight blip with early defeat at the Banana Bowl, Saturday’s efficient 6-1, 6-4 semi-final win over Camila Giangreco Campiz of Paraguay was typical of her unfussy progress through the draw in Porto Alegre this week.
Sunday’s final will be a first meeting on the ITF Junior Circuit for the left-handed Haddad Maia and right-hander Flink.
In the boys’ singles final, top seed Quinzi will be playing for his second Grade A singles title in 12 months after he won the 53 Trofeo Bonfiglio in Milan last May. He beat Kozlov 6-4, 6-0 in the first round en route to winning the trophy there in what has been their only meeting. While Quinzi will start the match as favourite, fifteen-year-old Kozlov (who was born in Macedonia before moving to the USA) has shown this week that he is a force to be
reckoned with on the ITF Junior Circuit.
He brought an abrupt end to Johan Sebastien Tatlot’s winning streak, which began when 16-year-old Tatlot, from France, won the 43rd Banana Bowl last week. Kozlov won their semi-final 6-3, 6-2 to earn his rematch with Quinzi. The Italian was made to work far harder to earn his place in the Copa Gerdau final before eventually coming through a 6-3, 6-7(4), 6-2 scuffle with France’s Quentin Halys.
Brazilians Orlando Luz and Marcelo Zormann Da Silva delivered a home win in the boys’ doubles final, putting in a battling performance in front of the Porto Alegre crowd to come from a set down to beat Spencer Papa (USA) and Alexander Zverev (GER) 3-6, 6-2, 10-5 in a match tiebreaker. The girls’ doubles finer was an even closer affair, and top seeded Mexicans Alejandra Cisneros and Victoria Rodriguez needed all their reserves of nerve to edge out Brazilians Ingrid Gamarra Martins and Haddad Maia 2-6, 6-3, 12-10 in another decider.