Paula Badosa has left the Mutua Madrid Open after the best result of her career. The Spaniard, who bowed out in the semi-finals to world number one Ashleigh Barty, will move to a new career-high ranking on Monday having said her goodbyes to the Caja Mágica, the perfect stage to ignite a career.
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The 23-year-old Catalonian spoke to the media after the match about her stellar week.
A new Paula. “My goal is to continue like this, may every week be like this one. Just as good or similar. I hope that from now on there is a new Paula, a new Paula who is now playing against the best in the world”.
“I hope it’s a turning point. I hope to keep growing like this, to keep having good tournaments like this and to keep playing against the best in the world every week and that will be the challenge, to keep improving as a player. I think I’ve played great tennis”.
A nostalgic adios. “I admit that it’s difficult for me, I’m not good at losing. Little by little I’m improving. It makes me feel kind of sad, even more so when it’s at home. It was such an amazing week so when it ends you feel a little sad and melancholic”.
Her coach’s advice before the match. “I always speak with my coach before the match and he tried to tell me that there are always chances in every match, whether it’s the number one or 100. He told me to try and enjoy the moment, to try and give everything I have. It’s clear that I was a little tired and he told me to give everything on court so that I had no regrets at the end”.
Barty, a great opponent. “She played very well. She’s a player that really makes things difficult for you and if you’re not 100% physically and mentally, it’s difficult. And maybe I wasn’t so comfortable, but that’s to her credit”.
Javier Martí, her talisman. “He brings so much to the table. He’s a very intelligent person. At the end of the day, women’s tennis is very emotional and you have to know when to say one thing or another. We have a very good connection, he makes me work very hard. I think he’s a very good coach based on my results. Since we started, my tennis and my attitude have changed completely. It’s clear that it is the player who has to make the change, but without someone behind you to help or without people around you to push you and set you on the right path, it’s almost impossible for a player to do that on their own”.
New best ranking. “It’s always important to move up. I’m happy to be among the top 50. My goal is to keep improving every day and hopefully I’m in the late rounds of a lot of tournaments and I frequently have the problem of losing to the world number one. It will mean that I’m in the final rounds and I’m playing against the best in the world”.
“My goal is to be among the best in the world, but in the end I think that’s a consequence of a job well done. Of course, I want more”.