World No. 9 Paula Badosa admitted she was quite nervous against Jelena Ostapenko but she was glad she managed to overcome the 2017 French Open champion. Badosa, the 2021 Indian Wells Masters champion, clinched her first win of the season after beating Ostapenko 7-6 (1) 6-1 in her Sydney opener.
"I think it's one of the things that gave me a lot of matches last year, to keep fighting no matter what," Badosa said, per the Australian Open website.
"Against an opponent like Jelena, she can win 12 points in a row in two minutes.
You have to accept that moment and that's what I did and I started to play much, much better.
"I'm really happy with my first win of the year … I was quite nervous today and for me, it was important. I think mentally, I stuck there until the last moment."
Badosa bounces back from a loss
Badosa kicked off her 2022 season last week in Adelaide, where she lost to Victoria Azarenka in her opener at the tournament.
“The offseason has been short but it was intense. I love Australia and I'm quite excited to start the year. I'll have a really tough first match against Azarenka, I wasn't expecting a match like that to start, but to win a tournament you have to beat the best players," Badosa said before the match.
Azarenka, a former world No. 1, beat Badosa 6-3 6-2. “Honestly, it's been the most chaotic pre-season I've ever had. I was actually really nervous before the tournament, I felt really unprepared. For me to come out here and produce this type of tennis really makes me proud of the competitor I am,” Azarenka said after beating Badosa.
Badosa is certainly hoping to make a deep run in Sydney and go to Melbourne confident. Following a breakout 2021 season, Badosa would like to win her maiden Grand Slam in 2022.