Watch: Aryna Sabalenka left feeling numb after seeing crushed Paula Badosa

Sabalenka wasn't in the mood to celebrate after her best friend Badosa was forced to retire their Stuttgart match.

by Dzevad Mesic
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Watch: Aryna Sabalenka left feeling numb after seeing crushed Paula Badosa
© Getty Images Sport - Al Bello

Aryna Sabalenka felt numb after seeing Paula Badosa retire in tears their Stuttgart match as the Belarusian offered her best friend a hug and some words of support. 

On Wednesday evening, world No. 2 Sabalenka started her clay season by taking on former world No. 2 Badosa in the Stuttgart round-of-16. 

Although Sabalenka entered the match as the favorite - having won their past three meetings before Stuttgart - Badosa was competing extremely well and going toe-to-toe with the Belarusian. But then after two hours and 20 minutes of high-level play, Badosa was forced to retire due to a left thigh injury. 

After losing the first set in a tie-break, Badosa won the following set with a 6-4 scoreline and also led 3-1 in the third set. But she took a medical timeout early in the third set, and after getting broken back and with the score being tied to three games apiece, the Spaniard played just one point in the seventh game before calling it a match.

Sabalenka heartbroken for Badosa: I don't feel anything right now 

Over the last year, Badosa has dealt with major injury issues as she has missed numerous tournaments and there have also been several mid-match retirements for the Spaniard. Sabalenka, who has a very close relationship with Badosa, knew exactly how her best friend felt after the same happened in Stuttgart.

Aryna Sabalenka and Paula Badosa
Aryna Sabalenka and Paula Badosa © Getty Images Sport - Christian Kaspar-Bartke
 

“Yeah, I'm actually about to cry right now, honestly," Sabalenka said in her on-court interview. 

"I don’t know. Feel so bad for her. And I love this girl and I feel really, I just, I don’t know, I don’t have any emotions right now. I’m not happy. I’m not sad."

In her next match, Sabalenka plays against the winner of the match between reigning Wimbledon champion Marketa Vondrousova and Anastasia Potapova. 

It remains to be seen if Sabalenka can win her next match and make the Stuttgart semifinal for the fourth consecutive year.

Aryna Sabalenka Paula Badosa
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