Just a few hours before flying to Paris, number three in the WTA ranking, Paula Badosa, attended an event in Madrid in which the tennis player was presented as ambassador of Forcapil, a brand specializing in products to prevent hair loss. There, Badosa analyzed how he arrives at Roland Garros after a complicated clay court in which he has barely won two games between Madrid and Rome. “It’s a very emotional tournament for me, it means a lot. I won when I was a junior and I have many good memories. I would like to do well,” Badosa told the media.
Badosa’s rise in the past year has been meteoric. After reaching the semifinals in Madrid in 2021, when he was around 70th in the world, Badosa reached the semi-finals of Roland Garros and lifted the Indian Wells and Sydney titlesthe latter already in 2022. “It’s something that has come to me suddenly. I’ve always believed in myself, but I didn’t expect it from one day to the next, it is not easy to carry. You go from not being as well known to being very exposed, people expect you to win every game. It is something that I am learning to manage,” explained Paula, who has already taken steps to do so. “The first thing was to remove myself from social networks. It is something that hurts, from the outside it is easy to talk and be constantly judging. I am very much with my environment and I try to talk about things and express how I am at each moment, “she said.
Speaking about her next appointment, Roland Garros, the world number three confessed that she is not entirely comfortable. “I do not arrive as I would like. I would prefer to have more peace of mind, to be less exposed. From the land tour, I would have changed not to play a tournament, I’m not going to say which one. Physically, I am prepared, I have worked very well. But, mentally, I would like to arrive a little calmer.”, he recounted. “I’m looking forward to it, that’s always, and nervous. It’s special and important. Last year it went well for me, although I was left with a thorn in my side, I hope it goes better”. However, this year will not be the same for Badosa, since she now arrives in Paris among the favorites for the final victory. “Now there is the pressure, playing as a favorite is never easy. The rivals play with nothing to lose and raise the level. It’s another challenge I have and I’m looking forward to facing it.” That pressure that Badosa herself has mentioned has weighed on her in recent weeks, especially in Madrid, where she played as a favorite and said goodbye in the round of 16 after losing to Halep. “Yes, I have felt pressure in these tournaments, in some more than in others. I also think that I arrived with many games played and perhaps I needed to manage it in another way. It’s my first year with a lot of new experiences that I’m learning,” she snapped.
She was also very sincere when talking about Rafa Nadal, whom she said had “misused” to people, since now the results of the rest of Spaniards “know little”. “He is the best athlete in history, not only in Spain, and obviously it hurts to go after him. Repeating what happened with Rafa is impossible, I hope I’m wrong. But living behind him is difficult, everything that is done knows little. Making a few Grand Slam quarters or a Masters 1,000 semifinals know little because he has spoiled us. At a professional level, it is not good to compare ourselves with him, “Badosa analyzed, who also wanted to give value to his achievements. “They have not just valued it, less in the position I am in now. They tell you that everything is normal, that I always have to be in the final.” As to whether Nadal will be able to overcome his latest physical problems, the player has shown her doubts. “I have the same question as everyone. I don’t know. We have always told him that he has been retired many times in the last few years and he has never been., has surprised and has gotten better. It’s a machine, what Rafa has done is from another planet. Hopefully it will be for many more years because it helps Spanish sport a lot. I don’t know how much he can have left, the other day his statements were worrying or sad, but I hope it stays just that.
Finally, Paula spoke about another compatriot and emerging star, Carlos Alcaraz. “He is going to be a great athlete, a new figure in our country. It’s Carlos Alcaraz and it’s only going to be Carlos Alcaraz, let’s not look similar to what we have with Rafa Nadal. I hope it does the same or better, that would be a joy for Spanish sport, but it would be good if we left him as Carlitos, which is how he likes it”, sentenced the Spanish before traveling to France.