Former world No. 1 Simona Halep admits Paula Badosa is going to be "a big challenge" for her but added she has nothing to lose since the Spaniard is now one of the best players on the WTA Tour. Halep, now ranked at No.
21 in the world, saw off Zhang Shuai 6-2 6-3 to progress into the Madrid second round. Next up for Halep is a first career meeting versus Badosa, who rose to a career-high ranking of No. 2 this week. "She's probably in the best moment of her life in tennis and it's going to be a tough thing," Halep said.
"My opinion, I have just to stay there to do what I have to do and to try my best. I have nothing to lose. I just want to find my way back on the tour. "I'm not scared because I know how it is to face one of the best players in the world.
But of course, it's going to be a big, big match, big challenge."
Badosa shows Halep respect
After Badosa saw off Veronika Kudermetova 6-3 6-0 and a reporter suggested she was the favorite versus Halep, Badosa had quite a reaction.
Halep has played Madrid four times and Badosa is certainly aware of the Romanian's past performances in the Spanish capital. "You think I'm the favorite there? Yeah? Okay, I will take it," Badosa laughed.
"It's going to be very tough. She won this tournament. She plays center court, she played so many times, so she knows this court very well. It's going to be tough. She won Roland Garros, what can I say? "But I think it's going to be an interesting match, because it's going to be quite a clay-court match very tactical, and I'm really looking forward to that.
Of course she's a great champion. So maybe I'm the favorite or no, I will try to give my best because for sure she will push me to the limits."