She arrived at the Mutua Madrid Open as a wildcard and is now the name on everyone’s lips this week in the Caja Mágica. All eyes are on a Paula Badosa who, after the emotion of reaching the women’s semi-finals, spoke to the media in the press-conference room.
“I’m very happy because it’s something that I wasn’t expecting at the start of the week, but I’m playing well and dealing with the pressure”, she admitted, wearing the smile of someone who has just become the first Spanish player to reach the semi-finals of the Madrid WTA 1000.
After beating eighth seed Belinda Bencic, the world No. 62 said she felt “very nervous because she had already played against her three weeks ago, but I handled it well and the fans are really helping me”.
Asked about her celebration of kissing the clay in the Arantxa Sánchez Stadium after the match, one of many memorable images after her win, Badosa said that it was the result of “the excitement of playing at home, in Madrid and because I love the way the court is”, adding that in this instance “I hadn’t planned anything, sometimes I’m very expressive and spontaneous”.
Un día inolvidable ?
— #MMOPEN (@MutuaMadridOpen) May 5, 2021
“I’m really in the best moment of my career”, said the Girona native before looking back at the quarantine she had to undergo in Australia. “If they told me two months ago that I would be in the semi-finals, here in Madrid, maybe I wouldn’t have believed it with everything we’ve been through”, she said.
Badosa says that one of the keys to her current form was changing coaches to ex-player Javier Martí. “He told me that there are no secrets; work hard, accept everything… and I am reaping the rewards this week in Madrid”.
Asked if she believes she can win the #MMO, the Catalonian player admitted that she “cannot stop believing and I’m going to give my all” as well as recognising that “every time I am asked which tournament I would like to win or to get a good result at, I always said Madrid. So I’m super happy that this is coming true”.