In the career of an elite athlete, the opponent is not always on the other side of the track. On many occasions, the enemy hides inside, in the form of personal demons. This can be done in good faith by the Spanish tennis player Paula Badosa, whose career has taken off in the last two years, but was almost truncated prematurely by depression and anxiety.
The Catalan, born in New York, caught the attention of the world of tennis when she was just a teenager, when in 2014 and at 16 she was summoned by Conchita Martínez for the Spanish Federation Cup team. It was the prelude to the conquest of Roland Garros in junior category in 2015, a milestone that placed it among the ten best players on the planet of his generation and that opened the doors of the professional circuit.
When everything seemed to go on wheels in the promising Badosa race, even more after reaching the title of champion of Spain in 2017 defeating Carla Suárez, the unexpected appeared in his life. «I went through many moments of anxiety, also of depression. I recognize it. I didn't feel like doing anything, personally or professionally. You lose the illusion for many things and especially for tennis. I didn't enjoy anything playing. I felt a pressure, an obligation and some fears that made me never want to enter the track to compete, ”said the Spanish in a video posted on her Twitter account.
The excess pressure and the way to face his career made a dent in the young tennis player, who later recognized that the way he lived for tennis "might not be adequate." «I think I had to change my lifestyle a lot, be a little more professional in small details like eating or training every day well. It seems very easy but when you have things in your head that you should not have at that time you go through episodes of fear that distract you and prevent you from giving up, ”he analyzes.
When the tunnel seemed endless, the work of coach Xavier Budó appeared in Badosa's life. From the hand of Catalan, the tennis player began a process of personal and professional reconstruction that was paying off. The year 2018 brought a new beginning and three ITF titles in Glasgow, Les Franqueses del Vallés and Valencia, but it was only the first step of a miraculous recovery that has led Badosa from the catacombs of the world ranking to knock down the doors of the 'top 100 'worldwide.
«We are progressing very well and very fast at the sporting level, but what fills me the most is that Paula told me a few weeks ago in Wimbledon: 'Now from the moment I wake up until I go to sleep I feel happy and I want to laugh all the day '”, explains Budó, who remembers that in September his pupil told him that he cried at least twice every day. «He felt fearful and anxious. There comes a time when if you are passionate about a sport and do not arrive it seems that life is ending. Now he has understood that the meaning of life happens to be a tennis player but also to be happy as a person. It is something that she and I have discovered after many hours of work together with our entire team, ”he adds.
The path to the elite of the one hundred best tennis players in the world has not been pink for Paula Badosa, that teenage prodigy who had to discover herself to understand that the goal of jumping to a tennis court is not only to defeat the rival, but above all to their own fears.
A teenager in the elite. With just 16 years old, she was summoned by Conchita Martínez to be part of the Spanish Federation Cup team.
Roland Garros opens the doors of the professional circuit. In 2015 he conquers the Parisian Grand Slam in junior category.
Champion of Spain. In 2017, he defeated a rival at the level of Carla Suárez for the national title.
In his life depression appears. Excess pressure and an erroneous way to face your professional career make a dent and cause episodes of anxiety and depression.
Triumphant Return Get back on track with three ITF titles in 2018.
In the 'top 100'. After reaching two consecutive semifinals in the clay court of Palermo and Karlsruhe, he manages to enter his career for the first time among the one hundred best tennis players in the world.