Paula Badosa lost a great opportunity to make history for Spanish tennis when she fell 7-5, 4-6 and 8-6 in 2:26 in the Roland Garros quarterfinals against the unexpected Tama Zidansek, 23rd and 85th Slovenian in the world, who had never made it past the second round at a Grand Slam. Badosa played his worst game of the championship on the most important day and could not manage his status as favorite after an overwhelming start. It could have become the fifth Spanish to reach the semifinals of a major after Lili Álvarez, Arantxa Sánchez Vicario, Conchita Martínez and Garbiñe Muguruza, but, for the moment, he will stay with them in the group of those who reached at least the quarterfinals, along with Marta Marrero, Vivi Ruano and Carla Suárez.
Zidansek, who practiced snowboarding only a few years ago and combines tennis with psychology studies, won a place in the penultimate round, among other things, because in the first round he beat Andreescu, one of the main seeds and took his way. Without titles in her career and a negative WTA balance (42-43), the Russian Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova will face for a place in the final, who beat the Kazakh Elena Rybakina in another long and disputed match (6-7 (2), 6-2 and 9-7 at 2:33). Paula needs to accept defeat soon and become aware that she is on the right path to be able to enjoy in the future what he missed this time.
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Badosa let the first set escape when everything seemed to indicate that he could even make a donut after a double break to a Zidansek who made a very poor impression in the first three games. From there the panorama changed radically. The Balkan calmed down and showed very good manners in defense positions, with a cut backhand down that did a lot of damage to the Catalan. Little by little the dynamics of the match turned gray for her and she came out the loser of a carousel of breaks, seven in that first set.
Paula looked very bad, erratic with the service (six double faults in the first two rounds), when her rival put her in a limit situation, with 3-1 and serve for her. However, there was a new twist after another series of four breaks. Badosa endured the guy in that war of nerves (she was warned for supposedly receiving instructions from her coach, Javier Martí) and Zidansek put her back into the fight with her mistakes. He missed leaves that had previously entered him and began to lose precision.
Order and outcome
Thus, the third set began with a break for the Spanish, who regained energy and morale after having been almost eliminated and without good feelings. He recovered them in time and did what he had to do in a rather bad duel in terms of tennis, but tense and vibrant so both were played. It was about resisting, lowering your head, accepting mistakes with acceptance, and trying again. In these, the development of the party was ordered. Without a tiebreaker, it lasted and Paula had three options to get 7-6 and serve that escaped her. On his next serve he collapsed. Zidansek landed one final winning blow (he totaled 48) after taking advantage of one of his opponent’s 47 unforced errors. Maybe next time.
Results, table and calendar.