Paula Badosa makes 'scary' revelation, hopes to avoid nightmare outcome

Badosa, 26, revals the full extent of her back injury and hints her career might be soon coming to an end.

by Dzevad Mesic
Paula Badosa makes 'scary' revelation, hopes to avoid nightmare outcome
© Getty Images Sport - Clive Brunskill

Paula Badosa has made a revelation that fully details the extent of her back injury as the former world No. 2 shares that she has recently started taking cortisone injections to manage her ongoing injury but still there are no guarantees that she will be able to play just a few more years.

Last May, Badosa was in the midst of a promising Rome run when she sustained a back injury during a quarterfinal loss to Jelena Ostapenko. Since then, it has been long and pretty challenging and tough 11 months for Badosa, who was able to make a comeback at the start of 2024 but her back issues didn't fully go away. 

Last week, Badosa had another pretty heartbreaking and devastating moment in Stuttgart. Playing against Aryna Sabalenka, Badosa was 3-1 up in the third set at one point and threatening to stun the world No. 2 but then her back pain and discomfort came to the scene and she was forced to retire in tears two games later. 

Now, the 26-year-old Spaniard has made a pretty scary revelation regarding her back injury as being forced retire in the very near future is unfortunately a real possibility. When sharing that, Badosa admitted that she would be thrilled to just be able to play at least for three or four more years.

“In Indian Wells, the doctors told me it would be very complicated to continue my career, and I said: ‘Ok, I need a solution, something," Badosa said on the WTA Insider podcast.

“We tried these injections of cortisone and they said this is the only option we can give you, and maybe you’ll have to keep doing that if you want to play for a few more years."

Paula Badosa
Paula Badosa © Getty Images Sport - Clive Brunskill

While this is scary, there is one positive thing - Badosa's back has been reacting more or less positively to the treatment so far.

Bados: I'm still 26, I'm pretty scared

Now that Badosa has a pretty clear picture on the extent of her back injury and a new treatment, she also plans to take some steps that should help her play a bit longer - that includes probably playing less on hard and more on natural surfaces clay and grass. That way, Badosa hopes it will be easier for her back.

While Badosa is keen on doing everything she can to keep playing, she admits she is scared for her tennis future.

“I was like: ‘a few more years, I’m still 26.’ For me that was very tough and I’ll have to handle hard court especially, play less tournaments and all this," Badosa said.

“This is like the first time that I am opening up, so I’m still pretty scared. They said this may work for a few months but we’ll have to check again, so I’m scared I’ll have to stop again.

“It’s all the time chasing this, waking up every morning and the pain it’s there and sometimes I could not handle it, but now I can. At least that’s the positive thing.

“Clay court will be the best for me, grass I think it will be OK also because it’s less impact, but hard courts I will suffer more.”

Paula Badosa
Paula Badosa© Getty Images Sport - Brennan Asplen

Badosa on dealing with such an injury after battling mental health issues in the past

Several years ago, Badosa found herself in a dark spot and she was battling depression and anxiety. After a successful junior career, Badosa was widely tipped to be the new big star and she was even labeled as "the new Maria Sharapova" since she was tall and had a big and powerful game. 

But when instant results on the WTA Tour didn't happen for Badosa, it took a toll on her mental health and led to her ending up in a dark spot. At the time, Badosa's close ones realized she was suffering and the Spaniard started working with a professional, who helped her find a way out of her situation. 

But now a years later, Badosa is again dealing with an issue that is weighing heavily on her mind and seemingly negatively impacting her mental healthl

"I've lived through so many experiences, also mental things. Now an injury that I was never expecting, to have an injury for this long. Then being on the top, now again low, trying to come back. It's intense," Badosa said.

Paula Badosa
Paula Badosa © Getty Images Sport - Elsa

For Badosa, simply walking out of tennis would be an easy way out of this situation but she loves and still wants to play and test herself against the best players in the world.

"I think what's making me fight every day is the love that I have for this sport. I always had this goal to be one of the best in the world and to win tournaments and face the big players. That's why I'm here," Badosa said.

Paula Badosa