Paula Badosa recounts her dark period and 'not seeing light for two years'

Major expectations and pressure at the start of Badosa's career led to the Spaniard battling depression and anxiety.

by Dzevad Mesic
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Paula Badosa recounts her dark period and 'not seeing light for two years'
© Getty Images Sport - Clive Brunskill

Paula Badosa admits she wasn't prepared for the spotlight and the expectations that came her way early in her career as the Spanish tennis star reveals for two years she "did not see the light" during one of the darkest periods of her life and career.

Badosa, who is now 26 years old, was once regarded as one of the brightest talents in women's tennis after winning the 2015 French Open girls' singles title. At the time, Badosa - who stands at 5 ft 11 in and has a big game - was even labeled "the next Maria Sharapova."

But unlike Sharapova, Badosa didn't have a strong start to her pro tennis career as she was mostly competing in the ITF and Challenger-level tournaments in her first couple of seasons. And the more Badosa was struggling to make a breakthrough, the more her mental health deteriorated. 

"There were a lot of expectations on me, especially in Spain, where I was expected to be the next Top 10, the next star, but I was not mentally prepared to face all that. I suffered a lot for two years, I remember that I was in a very dark moment in which I did not see the light. Thanks to that, I am the person I am today, the fighter that I am, that made me stronger," Badosa said in an interview with Georgy Tennis. 

Paula Badosa
Paula Badosa © Getty Images Sport - Julian Finney
 

Badosa put the dark period behind her and went on to achieve notable success

After breaking into the top-100 for the first time in 2019, Badosa then established herself as a regular participant in the main-level events during the 2020 and 2021 seasons.

And during the 2021 season, Badosa started making some noise as she won her first WTA title in Belgrade before also winning a WTA 1000 tournament in Indian Wells. After becoming a WTA 1000 champion in 2021, Badosa also achieved a career-high ranking of No. 2 in 2022 April.

But unfortunately, Badosa hasn't managed to continue with her rise due to constant injuries and physical setbacks she has battled over the last two years. 

Most recently, Badosa announced that her back injury was a chronic issue and that she was just hoping to be able to play at least three or four more years. 

Paula Badosa
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