Australian Open 2024: Paula Badosa, facing her situation: “I’m proud, it’s difficult for me to assimilate where I am” | Tennis | Sports

Paula Badosa’s current paradoxical reality leads her to a double extreme: she is happy in Melbourne, where she returns to a great place after six months of absence, and at the same time she twists her face during the meeting with the special sent because in both cases the last years were bad and what he had in his hands, something like glory, ended up slipping through his fingers and, he says, it hurts. It hurts. Today, we don’t recognize him.

“I’ve had some slow moments, but since I’ve been out of competition, I haven’t seen as much tennis. I logged out and didn’t see the players… But now I see myself at the club, I’m going to compete, and I wish I wasn’t where I am. Mentally, I have difficulty assimilating it. “I’m a competitive and proud person, so I’m not having a good time in this situation,” she says as the latest list update places her at number 100 on the circuit. And not so long ago, mid-2022, it was two. He had already won Indian Wells and was dreaming of a big shot at a Grand Slam, until the injuries arrived. The last one, a spinal stress fracture at L4, in May last year, in Rome, shattered all his plans. Six months off, several frustrated comeback attempts – Wimbledon, the North American tour on cement and the Billie Jean King Cup with Spain – and above all doubts, a lot of doubts.

“The lowest moment is now,” explains the 26-year-old Catalan, who will make her debut this Monday (around 8:30 a.m., Eurosport) against Taylor Townsend (73rd).I like being back on big stages and my back is healed, but I need time to get back to my level, to be one hundred percent. It’s a process and I’ve just been on a couch for seven months; I know it will take me time to reach my best level. But Since I see myself at the highest level, he says, it is difficult for me to accept seeing myself at this level. When you are in a situation like this, you have no choice but to keep fighting to achieve the goal.

The rear seems to have now granted him a truce, even if the threat will always be there. “It’s a semi-chronic injury,” he commented to this newspaper in November, during a meeting in Seville. Regardless, what Badosa is really worried about now is reclaiming lost space and unexpectedly returning to the space he once occupied. After winning Roland Garros junior (2015) and overcoming depression, the tennis player reached her peak and found herself on the front line. “Everything I went through made me who I am,” he noted after the 2021 success at Indian Wells. He got on the world podium, but then decompressed. The reason?

Badosa, during Saturday’s press conference in Melbourne.MAT IRHAM (EFE)

“What worries me the most is the physical aspect, tennis is still there. It was there before I was world number two and it’s there now that I’m 74 (now 100). Tennis is still there, what worries me the most is how I handle it mentally and how I am physically. By 2024, I ask that you be injury free and healthy; “When I am mentally well and there are no injuries, I know that my level of tennis is good enough,” he continues, knowing that the return is not an easy task, knowing that he could not compete any longer. only six months and he must return to the rhythm of forced marches. He missed Australia by the thigh and Paris by the back, and at Wimbledon he barely lasted a match. New York has also disappeared from the course. She returns with good feelings ahead of this Australian Open, in Adelaide, but the duel with the American Bernarda Pera seems too long to her.

“I’m going to face players who haven’t stopped and I know it will take me matches to find this rhythm. I will work to get it as soon as possible. “I hope it’s here,” she wishes, without knowing how long the return journey will be, nor if she will manage to re-establish herself in the noble zone of a circuit which has drawn a solid attic in the attic core of competitors. “I don’t even know, I wonder that too. But we must continue to fight to achieve this goal. I will have better days and worse days, but I don’t like to see myself like this. I have no choice but to accept it.

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