Paula Badosa has had a great 2021. She won her first WTA 1000 title at the Indian Wells, made her debut into the top 10 in the World rankings and also made her debut at the year-end WTA finals tournament. The Spaniard finished the last year as the World No. 8.
Due to her amazing rise, the Spaniard was widely considered as the most improved player on the WTA tour in 2022 and would aim to rise higher in the standing of the game. The 24-year-old has started the new season in a solid fashion as she has qualified for the final of the WTA Sydney Tennis Classic, where she is supposed to play Barbora Krejcikova on Saturday.
Badosa would thus come into the tournament with a lot of confidence and is seeded 8th. She’ll start off her campaign in a tricky battle against home favourite Ajla Tomljanovic, which is a tougher draw than most first-round clashes. The 24-year-old has to be in her peak form to overcome the Australian, who is capable of causing an upset on her day.
The World No.8 is then likely to face Chinese Sasai Zheng in the next round. The Spaniard will then move forward if she wins to probably face her compatriot Sara Sorribes Tormo, who’ll be the first seeded opponent Badosa faces in the tournament.
Badosa to meet either Kenin or Gauff in the Fourth Round
Provided she survives the challenge, Paula Badosa will have to take on either Sofia Kenin or Coco Gauff in the fourth round, seeded 11th and 18th respectively. Both Americans would be very strong and tough opponents and Badosa would have to be on her A-game to win against whoever of the two she faces.
Despite being tough matches, Paula Badosa would back herself to perform well against either of the two as on her day, the Spaniard could be as good as anyone else on the tour.
Krejcikova or Svitolina await in the Quarter-finals
If Badosa wins her tricky fourth-round encounter, she’ll likely be greeted by either fourth seed Barbora Krejcikova or 15th seed Elina Svitolina in the quarter-final stage, though even Victoria Azarenka could be her possible opponent if she defeated Svitolina in the previous round.
This would be a tricky draw for the Spaniard, as Krejcikova particularly has been exceptional this season and would be one of the favourites for the tournament. The World No. 4 would provide the Spaniard her sternest rest till now in the competition.
However, the rest is just going to get sterner as if Paula Badosa gets through to the semi-finals, none other than World No.1 Ashleigh Barty would be waiting there for her. It’d take a herculean effort from the 24-year-old to overcome the Australian powerhouse, especially considering that Barty would garner huge home support and would be a fan favourite.
Final: Badosa vs Sabalenka
In the finals, Paula Badosa would be up against 2nd seed Aryna Sabalenka, who is coming off a very good 2021. Despite being a tough match, the Spaniard would be confident in the match having defeated arguably the best player in Ashleigh Barty to reach this far. Badosa also had a 2-0 head-to-head record against the Belarusian, which would definitely add to her confidence.
Paula Badosa’s path to the 2022 Australian Open title (based on seedings):
- R1-Ajla Tomljanovic
- R2- Sasai Zheng
- R3- Sara Sorribes Tormo
- R4- Coco Gauff/Sofia Kenin
- QF- Krejcikova
- SF- Barty
- F- Sabalenka