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Badosa: “Funny, but it’s my first time in Rome”

The world number 2 Paula Badosa has arrived in Rome and spent some time training and checking the courts that she had never been on before this year. A little more than 12 months ago, the Spaniard was ranked outside of the top 70 in the world and is now coming to Rome as the second favourite in the seeding.

“It’s nice to be here. It’s my first time in this tournament. I know it sounds funny, but it’s like that. I’m really enjoying a lot. It’s my second day here practicing. I really like the venue, the people, the atmosphere, the energy. So, yeah, I can’t wait to start here the tournament”, she commented.

Badosa is the example of how much things can change in tennis in just a single year and her first time qualifying for the main draw in Rome comes when she is ranked second best in the world.

Last year I could play quallies”, she explained: “I did well in Madrid, so I couldn’t fly here. Yeah, I was very sad because I was really looking forward to come. The other years, I was too bad (to qualify). It’s a little bit surreal to think all this last year what’s happening. Yeah, so that’s why sometimes mentally it’s a process to accept all these kind of things, to learn how to deal with the pressure as well. Yeah, well, I think I’m learning. I’m proud of how I’m doing this year, yeah. It’s a little bit crazy”.

Despite the incredible past 12 months for the Spaniard, Rome feels already like a chance to put some tough days behind, as her Madrid experience was not the most pleasant.

It was very tough for me that tournament since the beginning. As I said at the last press conference when I lost to Simona (Halep), it felt like I played five tournaments, a lot of stress, a lot of pressure. Starting a tournament with that tough draw, hearing all the time that you’re the favorite to win that tournament, it’s a little bit as well tough. Yeah, but I think I’m playing well. I’m coming with a lot of matches. Maybe Madrid wasn’t the best tournament for me, but I think Simona played amazing that day. After that, I needed to rest a few days because it was tough and I had bad days, to be honest, there. Then I came back at court. Since then I’m feeling very well and I work very hard”.

Despite the incredible changes in her life, Badosa believes she has not changes as a person because of them.

I think the key to stay where I am or to stay as much better ranking as I can is to stay humble and to work very hard. I think if I play very good on this sport, I’m not better than anyone, you know. I didn’t save a life. I’m not a superhero. I’m just playing good on my job. I’m doing my job well, you know? I don’t have to change for that.”

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