Beatriz Haddad Maia: Brazilian tennis star shows football skills at Japan Open

Beatriz Haddad Maia at the Japan Open

Beatriz Haddad Maia proved she is more than just a talented tennis player as footage of her showing off her football skills emerged on social media. 

The 26-year-old, who is currently ranked 18th in the world rankings, was filmed practising kick-ups in her changing room, prior to her quarter-final match at the Japan Open.

Though the Brazilian went on to lose her last eight tie to Veronika Kudermetova in three sets, her footballing ability certainly impressed fans online. 

WATCH: Haddad Maia practising kick-ups in changing room 

Fans react to Haddad Maia’s skills 

Many fans praised Haddad Maia’s impressive skills and joked that it was no surprise she was a talented footballer, given she was born in Brazil. 

“There are some things that come naturally to all people of Brazil [and] that is playing football. Their hand-eye coordination is perfect,” one said. 

“I think Brazilians are just born with it,” stressed another. 

“Proper baller,” wrote a third. 

Meanwhile, someone else suggested Haddad Maia challenge Tunisian star Ons Jabeur to a game. 

“Hi dear @Ons_Jaberu, you should organise a football match with her,” they said. 

Beatriz Haddad Maia celebrates point at the Japan Open

Who is Haddad Maia? 

Born in São Paulo, Haddad Maia turned professional in 2014 and fast became the Brazilian number one. 

The 26-year-old has won two WTA titles so far and reached a career-high ranking of 15th in August this year. 

While Haddad Maia has struggled in Grand Slam singles events this season, she did reach the final of the Australian Open in doubles with partner Anna Danilina. 

Beatriz Haddad Maia at the Australian Open

This made Haddad Maia just the third Brazilian woman ever to make a major final, after Maria Bueno and Claudia Monteiro. 

However, the pair lost to Czech stats Barbora Krejcikova and Katerina Siniakova in three sets. 

The Brazilian’s last tournament victory came in June when she beat China’s Zhang Shuai at the Birmingham Classic in June. 

Who’s playing at the Japan Open? 

Though Haddad Maia is out of the Japan Open, Chinese star, Zhang, has reached the semi-finals after beating Petra Martic in straight sets. 

Joining Zhang is compatriot Qinwen Zheng, Liudmila Samsonova and Kudermetova. 

Home favourite Naomi Osaka also took part in the competition but was forced to withdraw from her second-round match against Haddad Maia earlier this week. 

“I am really sorry that I am not able to compete today. It’s an honour to be able to play at the Toray Pan Pacific Open in front of the amazing fans here in Japan,” she said in a statement. 

“This has and always will be a special tournament for me and I wish I could have stepped on court today, but my body won’t let me. Thank you for all your support this week and I will see you next year.”

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