World No. 7 Paula Badosa admits a lot has changed for her in recent months as she acknowledged that now there is the expectation and pressure on her to deliver on a regular basis. Late last year, Badosa won her maiden Masters title in Indian Wells, debuted at the WTA Finals and made her top-10 debut.
"Many things have changed. There's a lot of stress, to be honest. If a player tells you she's not stressed, she's lying. Don't believe her. There are a lot of expectations. You are nervous because now you are among the favorites.
You feel you need to win as many matches as possible. Maybe other players play better sometimes because they have nothing to lose. My position is no longer this, it's a challenge, I have to adapt to it," Badosa admitted.
Badosa starts her Indian Wells title defence
Badosa is set to kick off her Indian Wells Masters title defence on Saturday as she faces Tereza Martincova in the second round. Badosa won the 2021 Indian Wells Masters edition that was held in October.
"I try to trick myself and say I won it in October, so I'm not quite defending it," Badosa said. "So it's not that much pressure. "But still, I know it's a big title. I want to play match-by-match.
I want to get my best tennis on court, to enjoy competing. That's a little bit the key of last year, I was enjoying every minute on court. I was fighting for every ball until the last one and that's what made me win so many matches and get to World No.4.
"There are no secrets. You have to fight. Of course, you have to have talent in tennis, but in my case I think I have to find that competitive level and don't let the pressure get into me a lot."