TO Paula Badosa He had not been smiled by the final draw draws in his first tournaments of the year. First they had to do with Victoria Azarenka in Adelaide, A match that ended with a victory for the Belarusian, a revenge for the Indian Wells title that the Catalan took from him last year. And in the Sydney WTA 500 I expected another bone on debut: Jelena Ostapenko (24 years old, 28th). But in the end, Paula was able to break her winning streak in 2022 to end a three-game losing streak (to Swiatek and Muguruza at the 2021 WTA Finals and Azarenka in Adelaide last week), thanks to a smart reading of the match: 7-6 (1) and 6-1 in 1h 21 minutes.
The game started lacking in rhythm. Except for some isolated exchange, most points were resolved by failed remains. Ostapenko, more aggressive and forceful in the initial section from the back of the track, tried to wear down Paula, making the Spanish run from side to side. Paula saved the ballot in the 10th game, after Ostapenko got the break at his first opportunity and had a serve to close the first set. The Catalan signed the counterbreak and thanks to that mental strength that she displayed so many times last year, he scored the first set with a resounding partial in the tie-break: 7-1.
True to her unpredictable performance, the best and worst of the game was the Latvian’s signature, with bright flashes and failures typical of a youth. It served Paula to maintain her solid game scheme against the huge amount of unforced errors from Ostapenko, that ended up blurred. After an exchange of breaks at the beginning of the second set, the Spanish chained five games in a row to seal his first win of the year, accompanied by the pass to the round of 16 of the tournament. There it will be measured with Tomljanovic or a player from the qualifying round. At last, a more ‘friendly’ rival to continue winning sensations.