Paula Badosa downs Ons Jabeur to reach the WTA 1000 final in Indian Wells

On the back of her straight sets victory, Paula Badosa became the first Spanish woman in 25 years to advance to the BNP Paribas Open final.

Paula Badosa celebrates her victory in Indian Wells; Credit: [email protected]

Paula Badosa’s incredible week kept getting better after defeating Ons Jabeur, 6-3, 6-3 to secure her 40th win of the season and advance to Sunday’s BNP Paribas Open final. The World No.27 will face two-time champion and former No.1 Victoria Azarenka for the first time in the title clash. After registering impressive victories over Barbora Krejcikova and Angelique Kerber this week, Badosa will be looking to beat a third major champion on her way to a second WTA title. Notably, Badosa also became the first Spanish woman to make the Indian Wells final since Conchita Martinez finished runner-up in 1996 and 1992. What makes it impressive is the fact that the 23-year-old Spaniard has lost just one set en route to her second final of the season. 

Prior to beating Jabeur, Badosa had got the better off Dayana Yastremska, Coco Gauff, Barbora Krejcikova and Angelique Kerber. “Mentally I think I’m very confident,” Badosa said. “I’m believing every point. Every day I’m working very hard as well. I think I’m progressing on a little bit of everything and that’s what is making my level going up. That’s why I’m in a final and playing against the best of the world.”

Badosa broke serve 20 times over her four matches ahead of Friday’s semifinals. She carried that form against Jabeur as well. In total, Badosa had broken the Jabeur serve four times during the course of the match.

How it unfolded

Starting on the front foot, Badosa opened the match with an immediate break of serve and made it 2-0. Jabeur, however, fought back to successfully close the deficit. But Badosa found her way back in, as the Spaniard reeled off the final three games of the opening set.

“Today I feel like I did something different than other days,” Jabeur said. “I was really fighting hard even though I knew I wasn’t playing very well. I just tried. I tried to think. I tried to do whatever in my power. Honestly I don’t regret much because today she was a much better player.”

The second set needed only one break of serve. Badosa broke on her second break point to lead 4-2. In the final game, Jabeur earned triple-breakpoint to get back on serve at 3-5, 0-40. But Badosa saved all three break points and closed out the match on her seventh match point.

‘I’m pretty happy that I improved really fast’ 

“After I played clay – I did a very good clay season – I wanted to improve on a lot of things on hard court,” Badosa said. “I worked a lot. Then I had the grass court season. Then I was playing again on hard court. I did pretty good. Not amazing, but I did good in Olympics, Cincinnati, all that. I still wanted to improve a few things. I think I’m doing it very well this week. I’m pretty happy that I improved really fast. I’m quite proud of myself on that.”

Meanwhile, Jabeur said: “I feel like my goal right now is to recover because I think I play Tuesday, which sucks because I thought I would have a bye. Of course, someone took wild cards in Moscow. I have maybe a 10-hour flight. That gives me plenty of time to think about what happened this week.

“But, yeah, my main goal is to be ready for Moscow. The same goal: Guadalajara. I’m really not far. A lot of things in play. A lot of things depend on Paula right now. Let’s see what’s going to happen.”

Sportslumo Desk

What do you think about the Article? Tell us

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

Related Post