Paula Badosa doesn’t know what the future holds for her tennis career.

She knows how her body feels — it’s hard to ignore the constant pain in her back from the stress fracture she suffered last year.

She knows what the doctors think — after reviewing the scans in March, they told her “it would be complicated” to continue her career.

But in the face of all those setbacks, she also knows what she feels in her heart.

“I think what’s making me fight every day is the love that I have for this sport,” Badosa said. “I always had this goal to be one of the best in the world and to win tournaments and face the big players. That’s why I’m here.”

The 26-year-old Spaniard joined the WTA Insider Podcast at the start of the clay-court season to candidly discuss the challenge of rebounding from serious injury.

“For me, being able to play three or four more years would be amazing,” Badosa said on the WTA Insider Podcast.

Listen to the full conversation below:

Subscribe: Spotify | Apple Podcasts | Google Podcasts | RSS

Badosa was a prodigious junior talent tapped for stardom and success after winning the girls’ junior title at Roland Garros in 2015. It took her four years to finally break into the Top 100, which she did in 2019, but after breaking that barrier, she soared. Badosa won the biggest title of her career at Indian Wells in 2021 and qualified for her first WTA Finals that same year. Within six months, Badosa reached a career-high ranking of No.2 in April of 2022.

“I’ve lived through so many experiences, also mental things,” she said, referring to her battle with depression early in her career. “Now an injury that I was never expecting, to have an injury for this long. Then being on the top, now again low, trying to come back. It’s intense.”

Badosa outlasts Azarenka in 3-hour Indian Wells final: Highlights

Two years later, she is ranked outside the Top 100. The stress fracture in her back forced her to shut down her season after Wimbledon last year.

“In Indian Wells, the doctors told me it would be very complicated to continue my career,” Badosa said. As she begged them for a solution, the doctors suggested regular cortisone shots to manage the pain.

“They said this is the only option we can give you and maybe you will have to keep doing that if you want to play for a few more years.

“I said, ‘A few more years? I’m still 26.’ For me that was very tough.

“So far, the injections are working. “The pain is always there, but there were times I couldn’t even handle it.”

Badosa suffered another injury setback last week at the Porsche Tennis Grand Prix, where she was forced to retire in the third set to No.2 Aryna Sabalenka in the second round. The good news is the retirement was unrelated to her back. She had suffered a minor tear in her adductor and working to be ready for her home tournament in Madrid.


Leave a Reply