Indian Wells: Paula Badosa, the new tennis star who had to learn to manage her success

Paula Badosa is signing a spectacular season. At 23 years old, the Catalan is signing her consecration in the world of tennis: not only has he achieved the first title of his career, after defeating Ana Konjuh in the final of the Serbian Open, but is signing numbers that allow us to think that we are facing one of the players of the future. Already at the 1,000 Masters in Madrid he reached the ‘semis’, a record that has matched in Indian Wells, being the first Spanish to achieve it since Conchita Martinez in 2003. Now she has within her reach to be the first Spanish to achieve this type, in addition to the objective of being among the 10 best rackets the world next year and, for now, is on the right track.

Badosa arrived at national tennis as a breath of fresh air. Born in New York in 1997, she discovered the sport almost by chance, but soon fell in love with the world of the racket and, most importantly, proved that she had qualities to get very high. So high were the expectations he generated with his game that, after winning the tournament San Jorge ITFAt the age of 16, she was summoned by Conchita Martínez for the Federation Cup team. It was 2014 and the best was yet to come: a year later, the consecration would arrive that the Girona-based tennis player was called to be one of the future stars of national tennis.

The path to happiness by Paula Badosa

In 2015, it would become Roland Garros champion in junior category, same year in which he would debut as a professional on the WTA circuit, in which he managed to reach the Miami Masters third round. His tennis was growing, the expectations were increasing and his successes too, becoming in 2017 in champion of Spain after defeating Carla Suárez in the final … but something changed. Badosa herself explained it in ‘Marca’: “He had talent, but I was not prepared for what people expected or for the pressure that got on top of me. “And then the depression crossed his path, leaving tennis in the background.

The depression came because of not doing things well, I had a lot of pressure and anxietyMany fears came to me because I saw that I did not meet expectations. You have to tell it to normalize things. I did not want to go to a track and less to compete, but it also affected my personal life. He did not want to leave the house nor did he feel like doing anything, “he explains. At that moment, he decided to look at his two idols, Nadal and Sharapova, to try to understand what was happening to him and how to get out of that deep well in which he was. Two words were key: listen and humility. Enjoying again and being happy with what I was doing was the key.

Badosa vs. Barty at the Mutua Madrid Open 2021

They were very hard months, where Badosa had to fight her own ghosts to smile again. But he did what Boluda failed: find the path in which tennis flowed naturally through his veins again. The talent had not disappeared and, little by little, he began to get rid of his fears … Of course, starting from the bottom, from ITF tournaments to the top. In a couple of years, he added five new ITF titles to his track record for, year after year, to climb positions in the ‘ranking’ of the WTA … until 2021. At 23, he has found the stability he needed and is signing the best year of his professional career.

For the first time in your career, reached the semifinals of two WTA tournaments, Madrid (WTA 1000) and Charleston (WTA 500), to, just a few days ago, make history and get their first title, becoming champion in Belgrade (WTA 250) ante Ana Konjuh. Only a few months ago, Badosa was immersed in a depressive process that prevented her from even leading a normal life: based on work, effort and learning, she has not only overcome one of the hardest stages of her life, but has also achieved smile again and enjoy what you like the most, tennis. And, now, it remains to be known where the roof of the Spanish tennis player is.

Badosa, the cover of Roland Garros?

Badosa’s big dream of being able to win one day Roland Garros, that tournament that he already won in the junior category. Badosa has become a phoenix, a young promise who had everything to succeed but who he did not know how to assimilate the success and that, now, he has overcome adversity, has punched the table and has shown what he is capable of. After overcoming all adversities, Badosa smiles again: He has shown it in Indian Wells and in a season that represents his sporting takeoff. The Spanish is unstoppable and is once again happy playing tennis. Its roof will only be known in the next few years.



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