WTA Finals, Guadalajara, Mexico: Paula Badosa extends her Indian Wells form and unfolds a masterpiece. The straight-set encounter against the No. 1 seed Aryna Sabalenka, who is having a rough season, increases confidence in Badosa’s WTA Finals journey, 6-4, 6-0.
With this win, Paula Badosa stands at 7 matches winning streak. She joins Maria Sakkari at top of the group after Day 2’s play. It was their second head to head of the season, and Badosa outplayed Aryna in both matches.
After finding herself down 2-4 in the opening set, Badosa put a gritful effort to fight her way back. In the next, game Sabalenka had two game points to build a 5-2 lead, However, a forehand error and double fault brought the game to deuce.
Badosa saved a third game point with a backhand slice from the Belarusian into the net. Playing two more unforced errors from Sabalenka gave the Spaniard the needed break and momentum.
“After I lost the serve, I was really disappointed in myself and emotionally I was, like, really crazy,” Sabalenka said after the match. “I couldn’t just stop myself and kind of put myself back in the match.”
The Belarusian was having a rough outing, hitting too many unforced errors. The baseline pressure from Paula Badosa led to an increase in Sabalenka’s frustration.
The second set was looking like just a formality when the Spaniard took the set 6-0. She took the last 10 games of the match to keep the top seed at bay. Hitting 14 winners with 19 unforced errors while converting all the five breakpoints.
While on the contrary, Aryna Sabalenka hit eight double-faults, blasted 15 winners but gave away points with 31 unforced errors. She failed to serve more than 41% for the match and also just converted 1 of the seven breakpoints.
Badosa on adjustments made after 4-2: “In that moment maybe I was playing a little bit waiting what could happen and didn’t want to miss,” Badosa said. “Sometimes the more you doubt in these conditions, the more you miss. So in that moment, I accept the moment.
“I wasn’t happy with my service game. I said to myself, ‘OK, now you have to be as her level, aggressive because she was being very aggressive.’ I wanted to play against her. Let’s see how it goes. Even though maybe it could go well, it could go bad. That’s what I did. I said, Now you have to change, stop waiting for her miss and go for it. That’s what I did.”
Next up: “I think she played a very good match today,” Badosa said. “I think the conditions were OK for her, as well. She felt quite good on the court. I expect a tough match.
“It’s a little bit different than today, different match. Going to be maybe more tactic. But it’s challenging. I like the challenge. Every match is going to be tough. Every match is going to be a battle. It’s the last tournament of the year. I’m ready for it and ready to give everything every match.”
The Spaniard will face Maria Sakkari. The Greek star defeated Iga Swiatek 6-2, 6-4 earlier in the day. The winner will sit alone atop the Chichén Itzá group.