Paula Badosa stuns Angelique Kerber to reach Indian Wells semifinals

The World No.27 went past the German player in straight sets to book a spot in her second WTA 1000 semifinal of the year.

Angelique Kerber [R] and Paula Badosa after the match; Credit: [email protected]

Paula Badosa’s impressive week continued with a straight-set victory over Angelique Kerber in Indian Wells. As a result, No.21 seed Badosa became the first Spanish woman since 2003 to advance to the semifinals of the BNP Paribas Open. She defeated the 2019 finalist Kerber 6-4, 7-5 in the quarterfinals on Thursday night. Badosa will next take on Tunisia’s Ons Jabeur in the semifinals. It is to be noted that Indian Wells is Badosa’s second WTA 1000 semifinal of the season after she progressed to the same stage at the Madrid Open in May. 

In her first meeting against former No.1 Kerber, Badosa maintained steady pressure from the baseline, as she broke the German five times. “She’s a really tough player,” Badosa said after the match. “She’s really tricky. Of course I’ve seen her a lot, but on court she’s really tricky, she opens the court a lot. Sometimes she plays short balls but then very long ones. She plays very tactically.

“At the beginning it was strange for me. She runs a lot. She sees all the balls where you’re going to hit. It’s quite tough for me at the beginning and at the end as well. It was a really, really tough one.”

How it unfolded?

Other than the early exchange of breaks in the opening set, both players did well to hold on to their service games. But serving at 4-5, Kerber misfired on successive points to hand over the set to the Spaniard. 

With momentum on her side, Badosa maintained the pressure on the German’s service games in the second set. Badosa broke twice to build a 5-2 lead, but Kerber came back strongly, saving two match points to hold to 3-5 and then broke Badosa to get back on serve at 4-5. Badosa, however, regrouped to seal the set on a break of serve. 

“The 5-2 game, I got really nervous. 5-3, 5-4 until 5-All, she played amazing game,” Badosa said. “Of course I was nervous, but she’s an amazing champion. The champions, they play well at the important moments and at the limits. So that’s what she did.”

Badosa then spoke on having friends on tour, saying: “I think it’s really important. I’m really, really proud and happy that I have a lot of friends on tour. Of course, it’s lonely and they’re you’re opponents some days, like maybe tomorrow or the other day with Barbora [Krejcikova].

“I’m lucky that I have a lot of good relationships with the players. I think it’s important. You just compete on the court, but outside the court, you can have a good relationship. I’m like that, as well. We can share moments.”

Badosa will play Jabeur in semifinal

Badosa will next face Jabeur for the second time this season. “I hope tonight she eats a lot of burgers and she cannot play,” Badosa said, laughing. “We were just talking now. It’s really fun to play against her. We’re really good friends again so I’m playing another friend. It’s going to be a tough one.

“I always said she’s one of the most talented players in the world. She’s doing an amazing year. It’s nice seeing all these players that we were like a few years ago outside the Top 100 now being Top 10, Top 20, fighting for the finals. It’s amazing. I’m super happy and I’m happy that I can play her.”

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