Defending Champion Paula Badosa Opens Up About Personal Struggles Following Indian Wells Win - UBITENNIS
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Defending Champion Paula Badosa Opens Up About Personal Struggles Following Indian Wells Win

How setting one specific goal has helped the Spaniard rise to the top of the women’s game.

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Image via https://twitter.com/WTA_insider/

Paula Badosa’s love affair with the BNP Paribas Open is showing no signs of ending after she secured her ninth consecutive win at the tournament on Tuesday evening.

Badosa, who is seeded fifth in this year’s draw, surged past US Open finalist Leylah Fernandez 6-4, 6-4, in what was their first Tour meeting since 2020. The Spaniard hit a total of 23 winners and won 67% of her service points. She broke twice in the first set and once in the second to secure a spot in the quarter-finals.

I think I’m playing every day better and better. I’m feeling my tennis is getting higher, the level. I’m very happy about today and the win,” Badosa told reporters afterwards.

It was Indian Wells where the 24-year-old won the first title of her career less than 12 months ago. In 2021 the tournament was postponed until October due to the COVID-19 pandemic which paved the way for Badosa to enjoy a fairytale run. She produced five consecutive wins over seeded players, including former Grand Slam champions Angelique Kerber and Victoria Azarenka.

Badosa’s journey on the Tour has been far from easy. A former teenage prodigy after winning the French Open girls’ title in 2015 she initially found it tough transitioning to the pro Tour. It wasn’t until four years later when she broke into the top 100 for the first time and incredibly it was only last year when she cracked the top 50.

“It was not because I didn’t want to win or I didn’t want to fight. I wanted to, but I was so frustrated that I couldn’t control my emotions,” she said of her past difficulties on the Tour.
“I was getting very negative very soon. That is what was making me not fight.”

After her frustrations, Badosa set herself a personal goal of fighting during every match which has seemed to work wonders for her in recent months. She is currently ranked seventh in the world which is three spots before her career best. In January she reached the fourth round of the Australian Open for the first time in her career.

I was very bad mentally. I wasn’t a fighter,” she admits. “Maybe two years ago I was struggling a lot. I don’t remember exactly, but I think it was two and a half years ago I was top hundred, so it was very fast.”
“Since then I have changed a little bit. It was like a goal for me personally and a challenge that I did myself, to fight every point no matter what, no matter my feelings in the match. I’m very happy because I think I’m doing it every match, or that’s what I try.”

Now seeking to become the first woman in history to win back-to-back Indian Wells titles, Badosa will next take on Veronika Kudermetova who defeated Naomi Osaka in the second round. It will be a far from easy task for the defending champion who has lost to the Russian in all three of their previous meetings, including two last year.

Badosa is the sercond highest ranked player remaining in the draw after Poland’s Iga Swiatek.

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(VIDEO) What A Weekend For Italian Tennis!

Ubitennis founder Ubaldo Scanagatta looks back on this week’s action on the ATP Tour.

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Jannik Sinner – ATP Halle 2024 (foto via Twitter @atptour)

It has been a memorable Sunday for Italian tennis with the country winning two titles on the ATP Tour. 

In Halle, world No.1 Jannik Sinner claimed his first trophy on the grass with a hard-fought two-set win over Hubert Hurkacz. There was also success in the doubles tournament with top seeds Simone Bolelli and Andrea Vavassori winning the title. Meanwhile, in London, Lorenzo Musetti was unable to make it a hatrick of wins for his country after losing in the final of the Cinch Championships to Tommy Paul.  

So how much can be read into these wins and should we be expecting similar results at Wimbledon which begins a week tomorrow? 

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Jannik Sinner reaches the first grass final of his career in Halle

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Jannik Sinner overcame Zhang Zhizhen 6-4 7-6 (7-3) to reach the first final of his career on grass at the Terra Wortmann in Halle. Sinner achieved his best result on this surface when he reached the semifinal at Wimbledon in 2023. 

Sinner will face a final against his friend Hubert Hurkacz, who beat Alexander Zverev 7-6 (7-2) 6-4 in the first semifinal. The Italian player converted his only break point in the ninth game and fended off the only break point he faced at 5-6 in the second set with a forehand winner, one of his winners of the match. 

The Italian player earned an early mini-break to take a 2-0 lead. Zhang Zhizhen pulled the mini-break back. Sinner earned two mini-breaks in the fourth and eighth points to win the tie-break 7-3. Sinner won the first of the four tie-breaks he played this week.

Sinner finished the match in straight sets after clinching three consecutive three-set wins at the start of his campaign at this year’s edition of the Terra Wortmann in Halle. 

The world number 1 player won three titles on hard court at the Australian Open, Rotterdam and Miami this year. 

“It means a lot. I had four tough matches to go to the final. It was a good match today. Definitely more rallies than yesterday. And that’s definitely what I needed today. I am happy and let’s see what’s coming tomorrow”, said Sinner.  

Earlier this week Zhang Zhizhen had previously beaten Danil Medvedev in the second round and came back from 2-5 down to beat Christopher Eubanks in the quarter finals. 

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Hubert Hurkacz beats Alexander Zverev to reach the second final of his career in Halle

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Hubert Hurkacz moved past this year’s Roland Garros finalist Alexander Zverev 7-6 (7-2) 6-4 in 1 hour and 33 minutes to reach the second final of his career at the Terra Wortmann in Halle. Hurkacz will be aiming to win the second title of his career at this tournament two years after his triumph. 

Hurkacz fired 17 aces and saved all four break points he faced in the first game of the opening set to clinch his fifth top 10 win on grass. The Pole won 81% of his first serve points. 

The first set went on serve en route to the tie-break. Hurkacz earned two mini-breaks to win the tie-break 7-2. Hurkacz his only break in the third game of the second set to win the second set 6-4. 

“I really love grass. The game suits my game and the atmosphere here, having the full crowd is incredible. It brings so much joy to the players”, said Hurkacz. 

Hurkacz improved to 1-3 in his head-to-head matches against Zverev. The Polish player will aim to clinch the ninth ATP Tour title of his career in his 11th ATP Tour final. 

Hurkacz won the Halle tournament in 2022 and reached the semifinal at Wimbledon in 2021. 

Zverev holds a record of 37 wins to 11 defeats this season. 

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