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Badosa on her injury challenges and future in tennis

Badosa on her injury challenges and future in tennis


Paula Badosa doesn't know what the future holds for her tennis career.

She knows how her body feels; it's hard to ignore the constant pain in her back from the stress fracture she suffered last year.

She knows what the doctors are thinking: after looking at the scans in March, they told her it would be “difficult” to continue her career.

But despite all those setbacks, she also knows what she feels in her heart.

“I think what keeps me fighting every day is the love I have for this sport,” Badosa said. “I've always had the goal of being one of the best in the world, winning tournaments and competing against the big players. That's why I'm here.”

The 26-year-old Spaniard joined the WTA Insider Podcast at the start of the clay-court season to candidly discuss the challenge of recovering from a serious injury.

“For me it would be great to be able to play for another three or four years,” Badosa said on the WTA Insider Podcast.

Listen to the full conversation below:

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Badosa was a prodigious junior talent who was tapped for fame and success after winning the girls' junior title at Roland Garros in 2015. It took her four years to finally break into the Top 100, which she did in 2019, but after had broken that barrier, rose. Badosa won the biggest title of her career at Indian Wells in 2021 and qualified for her first WTA Finals that same year. Within six months, Badosa reached a career-high ranking of No. 2 in April 2022.

“I've been through so many experiences, including mental things,” she said, referring to her battle with depression early in her career. “Now an injury that I never expected, to have an injury for so long. Then being at the top, now low again, trying to come back. It's intense.”

Badosa outlasts Azarenka in the three-hour Indian Wells final: Highlights

Two years later she is outside the Top 100. The stress fracture in her back forced her to stop her season after Wimbledon last year.

“In Indian Wells, the doctors told me it would be very complicated to continue my career,” Badosa said. While she begged them for a solution, the doctors suggested regular cortisone injections to manage the pain.

“They said this is the only option we can give you and maybe you should keep doing that if you want to play a few more years.

“I said, 'A few more years? I'm still 26.' That was very difficult for me.

“So far the injections are working. The pain is always there, but there were times when I couldn't even cope with it.”

Badosa suffered another injury setback last week at the Porsche Tennis Grand Prix, where she was forced to retire in the third set against No. 2 Aryna Sabalenka in the second round. The good news is that the retirement had nothing to do with her back. She had suffered a small tear in her adductor and was trying to get ready for her home tournament in Madrid.




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