Beatriz Haddad Maia might want to permanently move to Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. She seems to play some of her best tennis in the country. For the second straight year, she has made the semifinals of the Mubadala Abu Dhabi Open. She defeated Ons Jabeur in straight sets in one semifinal on Friday 6-3 6-4.
Jabeur's issue was she was extremely inconsistent. She played well at the ends of both sets but often defeated herself by spraying forehands at the worst moments. She was by far the more aggressive player in the semis, but at times she was too aggressive and should have played the point instead of trying to force a winner.
Jabeur hit more winners than Haddad Maia (25 to 11) but the Tunisian more than doubled the Brazilian's unforced errors (28 to 13). Haddad Maia did not play perfectly either - she gave back an early break in the second set that would have made the match much easier for her, for instance - but there were times when it appeared as if she might just have served the ball and wait for Jabeur to make a mistake.
Beatriz Haddad Maia defeats Ons Jabeur in the semifinals of the Mubadala Abu Dhabi Open
The service statistics were telling as well. Even though Haddad Maia did not have any aces and had three double faults, she still dominated with her serve. She won 68.6 percent of her first serves and 57.1 percent of her second serves. Jabeur's second serve, meanwhile, was a real disappointment for the player. Jabeur won just 36.8 percent of her second serves.
The win was WTA No. 13 Haddad Maia's 10th win over a top-ten player since 2019. Her last top-ten victory also came against Ons Jabeur. That happened in the 2023 French Open quarterfinals.
Haddad Maia will now play in her first final of 2024 on Saturday. Her career-high ranking came in June of 2023 when she was ranked No. 10. With a victory on Saturday, the Brazilian will continue her chase to get back to the top ten.