APRIL 21 - MAY 4, 2025

Badosa’s special connection with Madrid

Paula Badosa’s face lights up whenever she talks about the Mutua Madrid Open. With her sixth participation in the women’s main draw set to kick off on Wednesday, the Spaniard is once again the flagbearer for the home players.

A semi-finalist at the Madrid WTA 1000 in 2021, she acknowledged that she feels “a special connection with the fans”, and admitted that she “missed it last year”.

“I’m so excited to be back here after a difficult year in which I couldn’t enjoy myself much. I hope I can enjoy myself to the max here in my matches”, said Badosa of the fitness problems that have been holding her back.

The player who climbed to No. 2 in the world in 2022 is in a positive mood on her return to the Spanish capital, recognising that she “feels good” and “can’t wait to play”, she also says she is managing the pain “as well as possible and, if I can make it onto the court, then I’m winning”.

“When I was 16, Garbiñe Muguruza was already one of the best in the world and I loved her because she defined an era. Her style was very modern and I could see myself in her”, explained Badosa after the recent retirement of her compatriot.

The Catalonian wished the French Open (2016) and Wimbledon (2017) champion the best for the future. “I was really sad, but she deserves to be happy. I was lucky enough to share a lot of practice sessions with her and we had a good relationship,” she continued emotionally.

According to Badosa, Rafa Nadal’s return to the Caja Mágica will also prove to be a huge draw at the Madrid tournament. “The Manolo Santana Stadium will definitely be packed. Every time he steps on court I get goose bumps. I can’t wait to see him and I’m really sad that this might be the end of his career,” she lamented.

Qinwen Zheng

The Australian Open finalist this year was also among the early birds at Media Day on Tuesday. The Chinese player admitted it “feels nice to be in Madrid. For the moment I’m feeling OK. I had a slight injury to my leg from last match but I really want to play in Madrid”.

The sixth seed is very familiar with Spain and she spent a few days practising in Barcelona before arriving in the capital. “I am trying to learn Spanish”, she revealed. Asked how it is going, Zheng replied “now it’s ‘mucho mejor’!”.