Paula Badosa rose to a career-high ranking of No. 2 this Monday and she admits she is now feeling the pressure to deliver in Madrid. Badosa, 24, won the biggest title of her career in October after she went all the way in Indian Wells.
Badosa proved that her Indian Wells run wasn't a coincidence as she has been on the rise ever since winning in all in the desert. Last year, Badosa made the Madrid main draw after being handed a wildcard. 12 months later, Badosa is a tennis superstar and among top favorites for the Madrid crown.
On Thursday, Badosa defeated Veronika Kudermetova 6-3 6-0 to set up a Madrid second round showdown versus Simona Halep. "Stressful," Badosa told reporters at Media Day in Madrid, per the WTA website. "That's the word.
It's stressful, nerves. I really want to do well here. I always say it. Because I'm playing in front of my people, my family, everyone. It's special. I live in Madrid, so it's even more special for me. "It's crazy.
Everything happened very fast and maybe here it's where everything started. Starting it at home, with all my people is very special. And coming back here again is always going to be special. Of course, I'm going to be nervous and feel the pressure, but I cannot wait to start and feel all the people supporting me."
Badosa aims her first Madrid title
Badosa, 24, is set to make her fourth Madrid main draw appearance. Last year, Badosa proved that she was worthy of a wildcard as she reached the semifinal before losing to Ashleigh Barty.
However, Badosa felt no pressure or expectation going into Madrid last year. Now, Badosa is the top-ranked Spanish player and the Madrid crowd is expecting her to make a deep run. Badosa kicked off her clay season three weeks ago in Charleston, where she reached the quarterfinal before losing to Belinda Bencic. Last week, Badosa made the Stuttgart semifinal before she lost to Aryna Sabalenka.