World No. 3 Paula Badosa says her expectations for the clay season are high but adds it won't be easy to make strong results as she expects rivals to be extremely motivated to beat her on her favorite surface. Badosa kicked off her clay season two weeks ago in Charleston, when she reached the quarterfinal before losing to eventual champion Belinda Bencic.
Badosa is now set to play at this week's WTA event in Stuttgart, where she is the second seed. Badosa, who had a first round bye in Stuttgart, is set to kick off her campaign by playing Elena Rybakina in the round-of-16.
"Well, expectations are always high now at the level that I am but I want to be very focused on day by day, enjoying it," Badosa told WTA Insider. "It’s going to be very tough. "You all know that clay court is my favorite surface, but that also makes it tricky because maybe they think you are even more favorite and now they play better against you."
Badosa made a breakthrough on hard
Badosa, who said clay is her favorite surface, won her first Masters title in Indian Wells last year. Badosa has been playing extremely well over the last six months and her results on hard brought her the No.
3 ranking. Badosa adjusted her game to hard and she was asked could that alter her approach to clay. "That's a tough question right now because I'm still discovering myself, so I don't really know how I play [on clay]," Badosa said.
"I know I play good on the baseline, I have big strokes, I try to be aggressive. But at the same time, I'm trying to find this balance of good movement, defending well. I try to be solid and find that balance, to be solid but as well aggressive.
"Maybe sometimes I need to be a little bit more aggressive in the levels that I'm talking about because against players like Iga, Aryna, the top players, you need to have that aggressive mentality but at the same time solid.
So I think I have to improve a little bit more in being a little bit more aggressive. "The thing that I know 100 percent is that I'm a fighter. I try to fight every point, every match, no matter what."