Bia Haddad Maia and Thiago Wild in the 3rd round evoke memories of Guga’s titles and past champions, writes Mario Andrada
Brazilian tennis players are in the 3rd round of the singles championship at Roland Garros, Paris, the 2nd Grand Slam of the tennis season. Bia Haddad Maia defeated the Russian Diana Shnaider, 108th in the ranking female, by 6/2,/2/7, on thursday (31.may.2023). Shortly after, Thiago Seyboth Wild continued his surprise course in the men’s bracket by beating Argentina’s Guido Pella 6/3, 3/6, 6/4, 6/3.
The 2 must play the 3rd round on Saturday (3.jun.2023):
- Bia, 14th no ranking of the WTA, will face Ekaterina Alexandrova, who occupies the 23rd position in the ranking. The Brazilian is favorite, despite having suffered more than expected to beat Shnaider;
- Thiago, nº 172 no ranking men’s ATP, there’s already another “mission impossible”. Ele enfrenta o japonês Yoshihito Nishioka, o 33º no ranking. Japanese is a favorite.
Thiago won the game of his life by eliminating the No. 2 seed in the competition and 2nd in the ranking ATP champion Daniil Medvedev in his main draw debut. The Brazilian won the place in the qualifying and that’s why it still holds the position of biggest surprise at Roland Garros and maybe even 2023.
No one can watch Wild playing in Paris without remembering Gustavo Kuerten’s 1st title on the world’s most famous clay courts. That memory alone justifies following closely the 23-year-old tennis player’s next match. It is clear that Thiago is not Guga and it is also evident that Wild still makes a lot of mistakes for those who dream of reaching one day in the top positions of the ranking.
Thiago’s success at Roland Garros once again brought up an episode in the player’s personal life. Wild was reported in April 2022 for domestic and psychological violence against Thayane Lima, his ex-girlfriend. The tennis player has not yet been personally notified by the Court because he spends most of the year traveling to compete in championships. He has already appointed lawyers for the cause and the process should start moving, after being stopped for almost 1 year, as soon as his representatives are formally notified.
In addition to defending himself in court, Thiago needs to be accountable to society in general and to tennis fans in particular. He may have made a mistake and will be forgiven after he comes to justice and / or manages to show the public that he learned from past mistakes and evolved as a person from them. Not to mention a commitment, also public, not to repeat the same behavior again.
Elite athletes have the same moral obligations as any other citizen. After the victory over Medvedev, the Brazilian’s advisors were willing to follow the opposite path, which is to deny any error or omission, in addition to the classic option of attacking the victim.
The portal UOL reported that a German journalist was embarrassed by a member of the Brazilian’s team, Jorge Salked, after asking about the case in the post-match interview with journalists. Little does this advisor know that even winning the 1st Grand Slam at Roland Garros, Wild will only have the respect of the public and sponsors when the issue is resolved. For what he has played so far in Paris, he deserves to continue on the road to success.
BIA HADDAD MAIA
Bia remains stable among the top 15 in the world and has the opportunity to reach a place among the top 10 in the world in France. Although she showed some instability in the game against Shnaider, she controlled the match and made it clear that she has game to go forward for at least two more rounds.
The Grand Slam championships, the most important in tennis, owe the Brazilian a little more court time. Despite a great position in the ranking, it is the 1st time that Bia has won two consecutive singles matches in a Grand Slam. Haddad Maia also competes in the doubles competition in partnership with Victoria Azarenka. They have concrete chances of winning the championship.
It is a great pleasure to see Brazilian tennis producing new top athletes. A modality present in almost all sports clubs in the country and supported by the tradition of champions such as Guga, Maria Esther Bueno, Thomaz Koch, Edison Mandarino and Fernando Meligeni has the potential to produce many more international level athletes than it has been doing.