Badosa: “I’m in shock, I don’t know if this really happened”

Shortly before taking a plane in Los Angeles to return to Spain, Paula Badosa (New York, 23 years old) attends AS with great kindness despite the accumulated fatigue after eight days of competition and a very tough final against Victoria Azarenka, resolved in three sets (7-6 (5), 2-6 and 7-6 (2)) and three hours, in the that was proclaimed champion of Indian Wells. He still hadn’t had time to respond to the heap of congratulations sent to him or to celebrate it properly. He will do it at home with his family, the team led by his coach, Jorge García, and his boyfriend, the actor and model Juan Betancourt, the two people who accompanied her on her successful journey through the California desert.

How is he after such a beating?

Physically, better than he expected, after such a battle. Mentally, still assimilating a bit of everything and with a very strange feeling, because at the same time I am very happy and in shock because I do not know if this really happened. I will need a couple of days to digest it.

Of all the sensations you had, which one do you stay with?

It was an incredible game, very, very good of the two. She (Azarenka) She is a champion, I knew that she was going to give her maximum and that if I wanted to win it I had to play perfect in the important moments. It was a mental, physical and tennis battle, with aggressiveness, strokes to the limit and unconditional effort.

What went through your head when you dropped onto the court in tears after the last point?

The emotion of winning an important tournament, but also an accumulation of sensations: tension, fatigue … I am a very passionate person, I live it all a lot and I get excited very quickly, and more with something related to tennis and fulfilling a dream.

What did Azarenka tell you on the net?

It was a ten with me. She told me that I deserved it, that I had played very, very well, that I enjoyed the moment and that I was a champion. That is the most surreal of all. Besides winning the tournament, I beat a legend that I was watching on TV a short time ago. In fact, talking to my people, they reminded me when my favorite player was her and said that I wanted to do it like her. Before the final I was nervous about the game, but more about who I was going to play against. And that I manage to win someone like that and tell me all that later, makes what happened even more incredible.

I do not know if you are aware of how historic your achievement is for Spanish tennis, in a prestigious position in which no compatriot, not Arantxa Sánchez Vicario, nor Conchita Martínez nor Muguruza, managed to triumph …

It is very exciting to achieve something like that. Being able to be a great tennis player in my country means a lot to me. This year I am having the luck to represent Spain for the first time in many tournaments and it is an incredible feeling that I love. I live it a lot and I know that people live it with me. The affection I feel from Spain I value very much. Being able to celebrate this title not only for me but also for my country, I am excited and I love it.

He has really felt that affection, because what he reiterated in the interviews after the games …

I try to be disconnected from social networks in tournaments, but there was a day when I connected with the mobile I have to see those things and I saw that there were people awake in Spain. And I thought, ‘Wow, that’s weird, it’s not just my parents following me.’ I was very excited. In the next game I remembered and wanted to highlight it and thank it.

How do you assimilate all these new experiences?

After winning a tournament like this there is a lot of chaos around and what I want most is to isolate myself from that, think, enjoy, maybe I would like to watch the game, and stay alone with myself to think about everything that has happened.

Is it mind-boggling to suddenly be one step away from the top-10 (it’s 13th to 72 points from 10th, Osaka) and eighth in the race to the WTA Finals?

Read Also:  Watch: Six-hitting competition between Pakistan T20 team and support team, do you know who is batting...

It’s something amazing. My dream had always been to be in the top-10 and to get big tournaments. At the moment, I already have one and I would like to win a Grand Slam sometime. The other is close and excites me. I was annoyed with the frozen ranking before arriving here, because I was not in the position that I deserved after my results. Now everything is back to normal and it makes me happy. I’ve been fighting for it for so long, now it’s a bit difficult for me to assimilate. I guess I need time and work, because I have done something very good, but I want this to be just the beginning. For that I have to continue the same and for more things like that to come. The WTA Finals was not a goal at the beginning of last week, but now, seeing that I am almost qualified is a dream.

Does this make up for all the suffering you suffered from expectations as a teenager?

In the end it is very difficult to cope with all that. When I see a young player and he does well at junior age, I am scared. Because I’ve lived it and I know what it’s like to deal with expectations. They ask me: ‘How do you see it, will it play well?’ And I answer that that is the easy part, the difficult thing is how to manage the pressure, the environment … things that mark a lot, beyond talent. Everyone has their time and I want to emphasize that, because there are young girls who at 17 think they have to be the best. And it is not like that, there are people who win tournaments with 30. You have to be very patient. In my case, I lived on a roller coaster that made me stronger. I think that when you are so young you are not ready for this. I think that apart from how to hit the ball, from the forehand, from the backhand, it would be necessary to teach how to carry those expectations, that pressure, because you are alone on the court and you do not know that when you are 18 years old.

You work with a psychologist, what is that relationship like?

I don’t want to call him a psychologist, Dani (de la Serna) he is a confidant, a friend, my trusted person. He is always there for me, for anything. We talk daily, there are days when I need it less and others more. We make video calls and we are constantly working to improve and cope with stressful situations like the ones I went through in Indian Wells, to close matches, get on the court and overcome fears.

And now that?

I want to stay the same, winning tournaments like this, that’s the next step. I’m enjoying off the track, working hard. I travel with the best in the world, which is what I have wanted since I was little, when I won Junior Roland Garros. I wanted to be here and that makes me happy. Winning makes my dreams come true, but being able to be living this is everything to me.

And what calendar do you have left?

If I am qualified for the Finals (November 10 to 17 in Guadalajara, Mexico) I will not go to the 250 tournament in Cluj (October 25 to 31) and I want to try to manage the calendar to be able to go to the Billie Jean King Cup (the old Federation Cup, which takes place in Prague from November 1 to 6), because it would be important to be able to play for my country and represent it. It is in my mind to help.

Does winning a WTA 1,000 show you that you can fight for the Grand Slams?

That has been my dream and the goal for which I have worked from the beginning. I do not know if when I finish my career I will not have won one, but people are sure that I will train every day thinking that I will achieve it.

Recent Articles

Related News

Leave A Reply

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here