WTA Tour Player Focus: Paula Badosa

SPANIARD Paula Badosa is rapidly becoming one of the WTA Tours’ brightest names. Recently crowned as victorious at this years’ Indian Wells tournament, the 23-year-old has enjoyed a meteoric rise going from a rank of 70 to a career-high of 13 in less than a year. Originally hailing from Begur, Spain, Badosa has garnered comparisons to Maria Sharapova from fans and sports commentators as a result of similarities between their styles of play.

A combination of aggressive serving abilities and a physical structure of 180cm makes Badosa a dominant force on the court when she gets going. Clay is a clear winner for her best surface. The Spanish talent has won 85 per cent of matches on clay courts in 2021 so far. Although do not discredit her ability on other surfaces, particularly hard courts where she produced wins including at this years’ Indian Wells Masters, where she dazzled in her win against Victoria Azarenka 7-6 2-6 7-6.

Since making her mark in the sport in the ITF Junior Circuit at the age of 14, she collected a respectable three singles titles and a doubles title helping her to reach a junior world ranking of 8th. Her debut at the WTA Tour campaign at the Miami Open in 2015 was off to a flying start after she entered the tournament as a wildcard but was unfortunately cut short in the third round after falling to Czech Republic’s Karolina Pliskova 7-5 6-1. Following her WTA debut, Badosa endured a run through a string of WTA and ITF tournaments before flourishing in the Morocco Open in 2018 where she took out wins against French-born Fiona Ferro and Slovenia’s Polona Hercog. Despite retiring against Aleksandra Krunic in the quarterfinal, Morocco was said to be the match that put her name on the map for Women’s tennis. The following year marked Bardosa’s grand slam debut at the Australian Open. Although she was knocked out of the open by Australian Kimberly Birrell 6-4 6-2.

Badosa turned a new leaf amidst a pandemic ravaged year as she pulled off a stellar run against big names of the WTA Tour during Roland Garros where she reached the fourth round. She was on fire against top-seeded player Sloane Stephens 6-4 4-6 6-2 before she defeated Strasbourg semi-finalist Jelena Ostapenko in straight sets – perhaps the biggest result of the year for her career. Badosa was explosive heading into Charleston Open, as she maintained the momentum she had been building. To cap off an exciting Charleston campaign where Badosa had knocked out Belinda Bencic and Catherine McNally to later produce a stunning upset against world number one Ash Barty. The Spanish talent defeated Barty in the quarterfinal by 6-4 6-3. The following month was when Badosa won her first WTA title in Belgrade against Ana Konjuh by 6-2 2-0 after Croatian Konjuh retired from the match due to injury.

One can only assume that Badosa is set to rise even further. Her qualification as the eighth player in the WTA Tour Finals in November is a credit to her tennis performance. Also, given her dramatic jump in rankings is an indication that Badosa will be aiming for a major Grand Slam following her stint at the French Open this year, reaching a quarter final. The Spaniard already has the drive and ability to leap further into success than she has already achieved. It’s looking like Badosa will be one to look out for.


Picture credit: WTA Tour


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