World No. 4 Paula Badosa admits that she is still adjusting to the pressure and expectations that come with being one of the biggest names in the game. Badosa, who rose to No. 2 in April, doesn't really own a pretty impressive record in 2022 as she is 30-17.
Badosa has been struggling with her game in recent months and she admits that it's different when you enter pretty much every match knowing you are the favorite. "You have to deal with a lot of pressure, a lot of expectations, playing as a favorite every match,” Badosa said, per The Japan Times.
“You know that the level has (risen) so much. Any player can give you one match at Top 10 level. So you never know what to expect”.
Badosa: I wasn't in this position a year ago
Badosa enjoyed a breakout season last year, which resulted in her winning her first WTA 1000 title in October, in Indian Wells.
“It’s a lot of things that you have to handle in that moment, a lot of new things that maybe I wasn’t handling last year because I was on the other side,” Badosa explained. “So I was playing with a little bit less pressure and more release.
This year was totally different, so it was something I had to learn how to handle. But that’s why I’m quite happy that even though I had so many new things, so many big challenges, I’m learning how to handle it day by day”.
Badosa won Sydney in her first tournament of the year and that's been her only title in 2022. Since then, Badosa has been a semifinalist in three other tournaments. After losing in the US Open second round, Badosa returns to action this week in Tokyo.
Badosa, who is the top-seeded player in Tokyo, has a first round bye at the tournament. In the Tokyo round-of-16, Badosa plays Qinwen Zheng.