Paula Badosa climbed one more step in her climb to the elite by qualifying this Sunday for the first time for the quarterfinals of a Grand Slam. The 23-year-old Spaniard, who fell in the round of 16 at Roland Garros last year, passed that round with a win over the 2019 finalist. Marketa Vondrousova, 21-year-old Czech and 20th favorite: 6-4, 3-6 and 6-2 in one hour and 50 minutes. “I am very happy, it was a very tough match against a very good opponent. I really liked playing for the first time at Suzanne Lenglen, ”he said.
The funny thing is that they had never met in a WTA match, but they crossed paths six years ago (2015) in the junior tournament in Paris. Paula won on the way to the title that put her on the tennis map, but at the same time subjected her to a pressure that she could not or knew how to handle and that delayed her explosion on the circuit. More and more established, the player born in New York, leader of the year in victories on the ground (17), has a nice opportunity to continue advancing in the Bolonia Forest, because on Tuesday will face an affordable and unprecedented rival for her, the Slovenian Tamara Zidansek, who made history for her country (no woman there had made it into the top-8 of a major) by beating the Romanian Sorana Cirstea (7-6 (4) and 6-1 in 1:26). On the horizon would be a possible semi-final confrontation with Serena Williams. “I have played many difficult matches on clay this year, which have helped me a lot at the moment,” he explained.
Grand Slam QF debut 🔜@paulabadosa‘s success on clay continues, overcoming 2019 finalist Marketa Vondrousova 6-4, 3-6, 6-2. The No.33 seed meets Zidansek next. #Roland Garros pic.twitter.com/7VXsP6MH2g
– Roland-Garros (@rolandgarros) June 6, 2021
And it showed. Starting at 3-1 against him in the first set, Badosa played fantastic. He dominated most of the points and knew how to take advantage of Vondrousova’s annoyances when he faced the sun and threw the ball wrong. Paula took her nerves out, interpreted her rival’s frequent dropouts better and better and began to connect winners (12 in that initial set for a total of 30). With 5-4, he served to get ahead on the scoreboard and had personality to raise a 0-30.
The second round was tough, even and with more errors on the part of the Catalan, who had to row quite a bit against the current. “I can’t hold, I can’t hold,” he said before losing his serve. But he still had enough strength to try to recover the break immediately and he was about to do it, but he could not and the match lasted until a third set.
Badosa started it with a 2-0 that did not do well with his second serve, although later he found a new break and this time he consolidated it (4-1). The Czech lost precision and strength, accumulated mistakes and made Paula’s task easier, who closed the rest with external serenity and tremendous nerves inside the most important victory, so far, of her career.
Results, table and calendar.