“It’s tough to find a friend on Tour,” Paula Badosa reveals how she kickstarted an unusual camaraderie with Aryna Sabalenka, which now is one of tennis’ best pairs

Paula Badosa discusses friendships on the WTA Tour.


“It’s tough to find a friend on Tour,” Paula Badosa reveals how she kickstarted an unusual camaraderie with Aryna Sabalenka, which now is one of tennis’ best pairs

Paula Badosa and Aryna Sabalenka (Image via: Imago)

Paula Badosa and Aryna Sabalenka have been at the top of the tennis ladder for a couple of years now, which demonstrates their competitiveness. 

ADVERTISEMENT

However, despite them having played against each other, they seem to have forged a great friendship along the way, with both the WTA beauties sharing a great bond on the Tour.

Tennis friendships seldom grow beyond the mutual respect phase, given the highly intense and competitive nature of individual sports. Badosa and Sabalenka are two of the few who have transcended this barrier. And that’s exactly what the former explained in an interview, where she opened up about how she became friends with the latter despite the tensions of professional sports. 

We played an exhibition and we started to chat. We realised that we have very similar personalities and we get along very well. 
Paula Badosa in interview with TennisChannel

Furthermore, Badosa explained why this relationship is important to her by stressing the fact that friends are very tough to find on the Tour.

ADVERTISEMENT
For me, it's really nice having a friend because it's tough to find a friend on tour. We respect each other a lot and we appreciate each other, so I can call her a friend and that's something beautiful.
Continuing further, Paula Badosa added

The two stars also prank each other occasionally and meet up and travel together for tournaments, showing that professional rivalries can be accompanied by great friendships. 

Aryna Sabalenka advances to quarter-final after an emotional ending to her match against Badosa

Aryna Sabalenka started her clay court campaign at the Stuttgart Open today, where she had to face her best friend on Tour, Paula Badosa, for the second time in a row. 

Paula Badosa and Aryna Sabalenka
Paula Badosa and Aryna Sabalenka (Images via IMAGO, screengrab X)

Sabalenka, having been given a bye, had to play in the round of sixteen against Badosa, who had defeated Diana Shnaider in the round of 32.

This would be their second encounter in a row at tournaments they have both participated in. The two clashed in Miami last month, where Sabalenka emerged victorious rather convincingly, with a 6-4, 6-3 scoreline.

ADVERTISEMENT

The match in Stuttgart proved to be more of a challenge for world number two, as they were tied at a set apiece, with Sabalenka having won the first set 7-6(4) and Badosa having grabbed the second 6-4. At 3-3 in the third set, Badosa injured her left thigh and was forced to retire, which led to an emotional exchange at the net and Sabalenka giving her some words of encouragement.

Sabalenka will now face a tough opponent in Marketa Vondrousova in the quarterfinals of the tournament. 

In case you missed!

ADVERTISEMENT