Paula Badosa made a winning start to her campaign at the WTA Charleston Open with a 6-1, 6-4 win over Anna Bondar in the second round. Badosa, last year’s semi-finalist, overcame a mid-match rain delay to progress through to the third round.
Badosa entered the tournament as the second seed after reaching a new career-high ranking of World No.3. It is a complete turnaround from last year in Charleston when Badosa entered as the 71st ranked player. That was just the start, as she went on to win three titles that year, including a maiden 1000 title at the Indian Wells. Starting the year at World No.70, the Spaniard made up quick grounds and finished with a year-end ranking of World No.8, an improvement of an astonishing 62 places.
But the 24-year-old has already set her sights on the second spot in the standings. The pressure is completely different from what Badosa experienced last year, but the Spaniard said she is reveling in the pressure by achieving her dream of becoming one of the best players in the world.
“To be honest I wanted No. 2 I think we’re all like that: When you have something, you just want more, more, more. But I have to be more calm with myself and happy because I’m No. 3.”
“This is where it all started. The last 12 months have been crazy. Everything has been super different – I mean, I’m number three in the world. Of course, you have more expectations and more pressure because people expect more of you, but it’s the kind of pressure that I like because I’ve always dreamed of being one of the best players in the world. Now I’m here. So I’m grateful for that,” she said ahead of the pre-tournament presser.
“The key is to have a good team“: Paula Badosa
Badosa also spoke about the importance of having a good coaching team. She split up with her former coach Javier Marti in August 2021 to reunite with her childhood coach, Jorge Garcia. It paid dividends for her as she won the Indian Wells title within a month of their reunion.
“The key is to have a good team by your side and to be surrounded by good people. Alone it’s impossible. Of course, you’re the one playing and you’re playing alone, but without the team by your side, it’s very difficult to handle these things on your own. In my case, I have a very good team. They support me no matter what.“
In the third round of the Charleston Open, Badosa will take on Claire Liu, who notched up an upset over 16th seed Zhang Shuai in her previous round. This will be the first time the duo square off against each other in the main draw of a WTA event.