Paula Badosa makes candid admission month after sharing 'scary' news

Badosa has been diagnosed with a chronic back issue but she is not quitting.

by Dzevad Mesic
Paula Badosa makes candid admission month after sharing 'scary' news
© Getty Images Sport - Sarah Reed

Paula Badosa admits she is not in the position where she wants to be amid a chronic back issue diagnosis but the former world No. 2 still keeps hope that she can beat the best and be among the top players in the game. 

After struggling for a year with constant back issues, 26-year-old Badosa shared in late April that she was diagnosed with a chronic back issue a month earlier. Upon receiving her diagnosis, one of the options for Badosa was to walk away from pro tennis - but she refused to go that route - and instead, she opted to treat her back condition with cortisone injections. 

Since receiving her first cortisone shot in March, Badosa's back has been seemingly doing better as the Spaniard has been able to play in five tournaments over the last two months and just once she retired from a match. 

At this past Rome Open, Badosa achieved her best result of the season by reaching the round-of-16 at the Italian WTA 1000 tournament. In Rome, Badosa clinched a few notable wins over the likes of Mirra Andreeva, Emma Navarro and Diana Shnaider before 2023 US Open champion Coco Gauff beat her 5-7 6-4 6-1. 

Although Badosa did solid at Foro Italico, there were still moments when she felt pain in her back. 

"I am going to be totally honest, my back has to respond. Like after these four matches I feel sometimes the pain it's not great but especially I want to have matches like yesterday, even though they are emotional or they are tough but this is what I live for," Badosa said during an appearance on Georgy Tennis.

"I want to play as many matches as possible against the top players. And I am not gonna lie, I mean I have this personality that is always going to be like this I want to be back to the best players in the world that's why I play tennis for and I don't want to be where I am right now, honestly. I want to be more than that so of course keep enjoying competing but trying to win as many matches as possible and to be at the top."

Paula Badosa
Paula Badosa © Getty Images Sport - Daniel Pockett

Badosa on her French Open hopes and expectations

After appearing in four tournaments so far this clay season and posting a 4-4 record, Badosa is ready to make her fourth French Open main draw appearance. 

For Badosa - who considers clay her favorite surface - this will be her first French Open participation since 2022 as last year she was forced to miss the second Grand Slam of the season due to a back injury. 

After reaching the French Open round-of-16 in her main draw debut in 2020, Badosa was a quarterfinalist at Roland Garros the following year. 

While Badosa is now in a pretty difficult and challenging position, she remains optimistic she can do well at the French Open if she gets lucky with the draw and her back doesn't give her a hard time in Paris. 

"Roland Garros has always been a special tournament for me. I like to play on clay. I think I am feeling pretty good. Of course it depends little bit on the draw, you never know. But I think that if I am healthy and if I train good these days I can play against anybody," Badosa noted.

Paula Badosa
Paula Badosa © Getty Images Sport - Ryan Pierse

What exactly Badosa said when she shared her chronic back issue diagnosis?

In 2023 May, Badosa sustained a stress fracture in her spine and appeared in just one more tournament in the remainder of the year. After the back issues continued to reappear in 2024, Badosa wanted a detail check to see what was really happening. 

“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 in late April.

“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."

When revealing her back issue was chronic, Badosa admitted she was "scared" she may be forced to retire in the very near 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."

Paula Badosa
Paula Badosa© Getty Images Sport - Clive Brunskill

Since starting a new treatment for her back, Badosa has been at least looking a little bit better and hopefully her back will continue to react well. 

Paula Badosa