Badosa cruises through her #MMOPEN bow

Antonio Arenas Mutua News, Women's Tennis

Paula Badosa produced her first victory in the final draw of the Mutua Madrid Open in a spectacular match against Barbora Krejcikova. The Spaniard was in fine fettle as she sealed the 6-1, 7-5 win over the world No. 39 in an hour and a quarter.

“I’ve been thinking about it over the last few days, and I don’t know if it was a monkey on my back”. explained Badosa after her victory. “I think it was, but it wasn’t a huge worry for me. I took it as just another match and that’s what I tried to do”.

“Madrid is very special to me, the public really support you and I really feel that”, continued the Spaniard, happy to be playing at home. “Whenever I step out onto court I get goose bumps. I can’t wait to do well and win matches because it’s a very different feeling. I’m really happy because I managed to handle the pressure. I was nervous before I went out, I wanted to do really well, and in the end I did”.

Badosa has thus far had a successful 2021, having climbed to her best ever world ranking and beaten two top-15 players in Belinda Bencic (11) and, above all, world number one Ashleigh Barty. Thanks to these results, she arrived in Madrid with her confidence sky-high.

Having played two semi-finals so far this year in Lyon and Charleston, Badosa received an invitation from the Mutua Madrid Open and she has made the most of her opportunity. Against Krejcikova, the Catalonian produced a stunning first set, in which she won 100% of the points played on her first serve and faced no break points.

The second set was a much closer affair that offered some entertaining rallies. Although Badosa flew out the blocks with an early break, Krejcikova returned the favour in the fourth game and it was not until the scoreboard showed 5-5 that the Catalonian found a vital break to serve for the match..

“It was a pretty deceptive match because she’s a player who does a lot of things well”, explained Badosa. “It was a very tactical match. I started out very focused and serious, despite the nerves. I’m happy because I was very centred, focused on myself”.

Swiss player Jil Teichmann awaits her in the second round after providing the upset of the day by saving six match points against fourth seed Elina Svitolina, whom she eventually beat 2-6, 6-4, 7-6(5).

Teichmann has an all-Spanish team. Trained by Arantxa Parra and Alberto Martín, the Swiss player reached the semis in Dubai this year -where, incidentally, she lost to Krejcikova- and she has twice faced Badosa, who dominates their head-to-head 2-0 (their most recent encounter coming in Miami this year, where Teichmann had to withdraw through injury).