In Indian Wells, Paula Badosa feels at home. The confidence that she gave her being champion last year is inferred by a halo of grace that makes her, for the moment, invincible. In fact, only Navratilova (10-0) and Maleeva (4-0) have a record without losses in the tournament. The 24-year-old Spaniard is two steps away from retaining the title after beating Veronika Kudermetova for the first time in four matches (6-3, 6-2 in 83 minutes). As she advances without losing a set, she settles scores, as she did against Martincova in the second round. “I had never won her and I lost here in the qualifier with her three years ago, but this track (Stage 1) has something special for me”said Badosa, who remembers that “I always made the same mistakes against her” and that “I had to do something different”.
It is his tenth consecutive victory in the Californian WTA 1,000, a streak that equals that of six legends who have been Grand Slam winners and world number one in common: Navratilova, Graf, Henin, Clijsters, Serena Williams, and Ivanovic. That’s how big it is and will face this Friday (3:30, Teledeporte and DAZN) in the semifinals (no one repeated since Pliskova in 2016 and 2017) Maria Sakkari. The Greek was able to beat the Kazakh Rybakina (7-5 and 6-4 in 1h38) and reaches the penultimate round for the third time in a row so far this year, after achieving it in Saint Petersburg, where she was a finalist, and Doha. “She is a fighter, but so am I. I respect her a lot. It will be a great match”, advanced the player born in New York.
Perfection from Paula 👌
Will face Sakkari for a place in the final 🔜 pic.twitter.com/smZanti4A5
— wta (@WTA) March 17, 2022
With her support bow for Ukraine pinned to her visor, Paula shone tactically against Kudermetova, a 24-year-old Russian and 24th in the ranking, with a powerful lower body, good server and with a better backhand than drive. The Catalan exploited that well, playing through the center to the right of her rival, who is frequently uncoordinated in that situation. Badosa had the best day of hers with the service. Five aces (he accumulates 85 in 2022) and no double faultsclearing the only but that could be put to his game so far in the competition. Thus, he only had to face a break point against, he allowed himself to press the rest more calmly and dispatched a break that was enough in the first set.
goes to more
In the second, it went to more. She broke out and then dominated at will with another break. Then he took a break before finishing off. Since Conchita Martínez, no Spaniard repeated the quarterfinals in Indian Wells and Paula did not fail. On Monday, with what he has done, he is assured of the sixth place in the classification, but he can be number two if he raises the trophy again. And he goes for him.
Results of the WTA 1,000 of Indian Wells.