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27-Year-Old Brazilian Tennis Player Reveals Novak Djokovic Inspiration That Propelled Her to Create French Open History

Published 06/07/2023, 2:57 PM EDT

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via Reuters

Beatriz Haddad Maia has surprised everyone with her stellar performance at this year’s French Open. The 14th seed’s talent has never been in question but one has to agree that she has indeed exceeded expectations this time. She has reached the quarterfinals of the French Open crediting Novak Djokovic for her incredible success.

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Haddad Maia confessed that she had been feeling jittery before facing her 4th round opponent. But her coach sending Djokovic’s interview worked wonders according to her. Barring her first match, she has eclipsed all her opponents in tight matches. This shows her tenacity and mental toughness. No wonder she admires Djokovic who is known for his mental fortitude.

Reversal of fortunes and redemption for Haddad Maia


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This fourth-round victory was sort of a redemption for her. Because it was against this very opponent Sara Sorribes Tormo that she failed the urine test when she played a WTA Challenger event in Bol, Croatia in 2019. This culminated in immediate suspension from the sport for her.

So obviously anyone would be nervous to face the same opponent again as it can bring a lot of unpleasant memories. She had to ward off all the negative thoughts. And this is where a coach can be of great help. And he did just that by sending Djokovic’s interview as a boon.


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via Reuters

In the on-court interview after her 4th round win, she said “I’m trying to think positive. If I’m feeling nervous, my opponent is also nervous. My coach sent me Djokovic’s interview where he told about his nerves, so if Novak feels the nerves who am I… its normal and we need to improve under pressure.” 

Mental toughness is a thing to be learnt from Djokovic


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Every tennis player and fan knows how mentally tough Djokovic is. Unfortunately, Federer was at the receiving end of such rock solid temperament of Djokovic in the 2019 Wimbledon final.

Federer was clearly going to win it with two championship points in his bag but squandered it and a calm, collected Djokovic aced through the finishing line. The same thing happened in the 2010 US Open semi-final. Not only Federer, but many others also have failed to penetrate Djokovic’s mental strength.


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Haddad Maia will now look to give her best with this mindset imbibed by Djokovic.  Fans would root for her and would want her to go the distance and even win the tournament. Who knows what would happen? This may be the breakthrough year for her.

WATCH THIS STORY: ‘He’s a perfectionist’ -days after Novak Djokovic’s friendship bomb on Roger Federer, ex-coach blunt revelation shows mysterious similarities between the two tennis legends

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Written by:

Tony Sam


One take at a time

Tony Sam is a Tennis Writer at EssentiallySports. After completing his Post Graduation in English literature, Sam has been honing his skills to achieve the pinnacle in his dream career as a sports journalist. He has been a huge fan of tennis right from his childhood years with a special admiration for the 'King of Clay' Rafael Nadal and his warrior like attitude.
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Edited by:

Sherjeel Malik