Paula Badosa shares her respect for Simona Halep: "She is a great player"

The Spanish tennis player reveals what she thinks of the Romanian

by Lorenzo Ciotti
Paula Badosa shares her respect for Simona Halep: "She is a great player"
© Brennan Asplen / Stringer Getty Images Sport

Simona Halep came back to play a WTA tour after a year and a half out due to the doping ban, which has kept her sidelined since August 2022 until the appeal she won at the CAS.

The Romanian received a wild card for the Miami Open, where she was defeated in three sets by Paula Badosa in the first round.

Simona returned to play a few weeks after the decision of the International Sports Court of Lausanne, which overturned the first instance sentence which provided for a four-year suspension due to the positive test for Roxadustat, in a check carried out in the summer of 2022.

"Being back on the court was really nice. I had positive emotions. Seeing the audience supporting me like that gave me a lot of energy. My tennis level was pretty good. Unexpected, I think. I'm happy with my game. I would classify this day as a special day," said Simona at the press conference.

"Honestly, considering the time I had this day will remain a special memory for me. I have achieved many results in the past, great results. But here it is something more than tennis, it is something personal," she added.

"Four years is a long time. I'm not that young anymore. Four years would probably have been the end of my career. But it didn't happen, so I'm happy to be here today," said Simona.

Paula Badosa and Simona Halep
Paula Badosa and Simona Halep© Brennan Asplen / Stringer Getty Images Sport

At the press conference she was told the words of Caroline Wozniacki who said: "I don't think an athlete returning after a suspension for doping should benefit from a wild card."

Halep answered: "I didn't do anything wrong. I didn't dope, I didn't cheat and the sentence proves that the positivity is due to contamination. My parents have always taught me that sooner or later good prevails. From day one I believed one hundred percent in justice, hoping that the truth would come out. I knew I was clean and I didn't do anything wrong."

Paula Badosa praises Simona Halep

In the press conference of her opponent, Paula Badosa talked about the match she won against the Romanian.

"Considering the time spent out for Simona, and you too, ups and downs with injuries, when the draw was over and you saw it was your first round, what went through your mind?” asked a journalist to the beautiful and very strong Spaniard.

"I didn't like it at all. I mean, I'll be honest. Even if Simona has been 10 years without competing, she's still Simona. She's a great player. She's won so many titles. I respect her so much. I mean, today I'm I was impressed. I think he will be back at the top soon. Players like this you can never doubt them because they were great champions," explained Badosa.

Paula Badosa Simona Halep