Madrid Masters 2023: The unfinished “process” of Paula Badosa | Sports

This last experience of Paula Badosa in Madrid ends –double 6-4 in favor of the Greek Maria Sakkari, after 1h 29m– in a similar way to last year, one round more than then; however, the background differs substantially. From crying and bitterness to accepting this Labor Day because, she says, everything is part of a process. “Obviously I’m annoyed, but I’m learning to deal with it. I am a very self-destructive person and I come, I came… ”, she clarifies with a brief pause, “down quickly. Little by little, I try to see things with more perspective, because in tennis you lose every week and if not, this would be a life without living”.

Badosa expresses himself calmly, when a year ago he could hardly articulate a word, seized with emotion and self-reproach. Not now. She is hurt, but in her fair measure. Things, she says, are getting better little by little and you have to look at the photo from a panoramic perspective, she emphasizes. “I’m going well. This is a process, and for a month I have been feeling better; after the bump I’ve had, this is valuable; I’m leaving with good games, the victory against Coco [Gauff]… I can’t look back anymore, so now I can only think about Rome and Paris”, the Catalan continued, clinging to continuity and those green shoots that have been seen these days in the Caja Mágica.

After a winding path riddled with troubles, greatly accusing the defeat a year ago against Simona Halep in Madrid and starting this season wrong, with an injury that prevented her from competing in Melbourne, her game picks up and the speech evolves. However, Badosa still has to climb a couple of steps to return to the area where she, she tells reporters, belongs to when her tennis reaches boiling point. She is improving, without a doubt, but the progression has not yet accompanied the results. She trusts, in any case, that one is usually the consequence of the other, so she prefers to maintain an emotional neutrality that can benefit her in the medium term.

The semifinal signed in Adelaide at the beginning of the year is his most notable record this season, in which he has come up against major rivals –Rybakina (2 times), Sabalenka, Pegula…– and in which he has not finished taking flight. The service record reflects that, today, she is still behind the strongest and that the process she talks about is still unfinished. “I don’t know what grade I’m going with, but I’m sure with a pass and with positive feelings, with a lot of desire and motivation. It could be better, it could be worse… but I come from where I come from, from below, so playing like this adds up a lot”, concludes the Catalan, today the 42nd in the ranking.

As a counterpart, the day provided access to the round of 16 for Bernabé Zapata, who beat Roman Safiullin (6-3, 3-6 and 6-3) and this Tuesday he will face Stefanos Tsitsipas (7-5, 3-6 and 6-3 to Sebastian Baez). The success of the Valencian is a good tribute to the background of this May 1, because after all he is a hard worker who without making noise has managed to be among the 40 best players on the circuit. “It is the prize for all these years, playing here is what every child dreams of. It’s like going back to the child who was starting to play, so I’m very happy”, he assesses after signing a meritorious victory (2h 23m) against the Russian, at the time two in the world as a junior.

He will close the program (around 10:00 p.m., Movistar and Tdp) after the pass is played by Jaume Munar (Altmaier, 11:00), Davidovich (Coric, 3:00 p.m.) and Carlos Alcaraz (4:00 p.m., Zverev).


AC | Madrid

His name is Mayar Sherif, and he is already the history of Egyptian tennis. At 26 years old and like Zapata, rookie in a round of 1000, she became this Monday (6-4, 0-6 and 6-4 to Elise Mertens) the first player of her nationality to progress so far in a tournament of this category. Double merit, due to the difficulty that an appointment like the one in Madrid entails and because she has not had it easy at all.

“No one from my country had come anywhere near where I am now. He had no support from the federation or from the sponsors, ”he told the journalists, to whom he recounted the origin of his link with Spain. A decade ago he put himself in the hands of Justo González Martínez – from the Ferrero academy in Villena (Alicante) – and after trying out in the United States, he settled in Elche.

“He has even helped me by putting money out of his pocket,” he says in more than correct Spanish. “I like paella, croquettes, everything… I try to eat well, but it’s difficult here,” jokes the 59th in the world, who admires Rafael Nadal and Kim Clijsters, and who, when asked by this newspaper, defines her tennis as the of a “warrior”.

She was the proper name of a day in which the adventure of the Russian Mirra Andreeva ended. With just turned 16, she was stopped (6-3 and 6-1) by the defending champion, Aryna Sabalenka, Sherif’s rival in the round of 16 this Tuesday.

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