Paula Badosa and Garbiñe Muguruza return to action. Both will do so at the WTA 500 in Dubai (from February 14 to 19), in which the second defends the title and, therefore, points. “Winning here last year meant a lot. It was a very strange tournament; I came at the last moment from Doha, without part of my team, playing so many games in a row…”, explains the Spanish-Venezuelan, who will avoid Collins in the first round, before the start of the tournament. She has not been the only one to show her feelings. Badosa, who will debut his status as number five in the world, has also attended the media. “I want to stay here, top five, top ten, winning big competitions, playing in the final rounds of tournaments. That’s what I work hard for. That’s my main goal this year.”has expressed regarding his new status within the world ranking.
Catalan tennis player Despite being one of the great favorites for the title, she will not have an easy path. He starts as third seed and, although the start will be simple, since he expects a rival from the previous round, the final picture that awaits is tremendously demanding. In the round of 16, she could meet Simona Halep, 23 in the world; in quarters, with Ons Jabeur, 10; in the semifinals, with number two Arya Sabalenka and, in a hypothetical final, she could face Barbora Krejcikova, number three. “I don’t know who I’m going to play in the first round, but it’s going to be tough for sure. The 35th in the world are playing knockouts, so it’s crazy. It’s going to be a tough match. Of course, if I keep winning, you play against the best players. That’s what we train for, to play these kinds of matches. It’s going to be exciting.”value.
A demanding journey, but one that he hopes to complete. “My expectations? I hope I can be here in a few days saying I play the final or the semi-finals. That’s my goal. But even if it doesn’t go the way I want, I have another tournament next week. I’ll try my best and we’ll see how he”acknowledges ambitious. In Dubai, where she has an apartment and feels very comfortable, “I really like the city, the weather, the people are very friendly”he wants to redeem himself of his fall in the second round of the Australian Open, against Madison Keys. The psychological recovery after the defeats, yes, is still a pending issue: “I see many players, including the number one in the world, that when they lose they are fine, nothing happens. I have an incredible team that helps me improve that”, recognize. For now, defeat is far away. A world top-5 is not released every day and, in Dubai, Paula, as she warns, wants to assert it.