This 2021, surely, will mark a before and after in the trajectory of Paula Badosa, who started the course in a promising ascending line that has progressively shot upwards. From the Californian desert, which in a Spanish key this week has witnessed the falls in the first round of Garbiñe Muguruza or Carlos Alcaraz, the Catalan (23 years old) sends another warning: she is there and is rising strongly. The season started as the 72nd and after the victory achieved this past morning against Angelique Kerber (7-5 and 6-4) it is now the 20th, with the Indian Wells final within reach. The obstacle, Ons Jabeur.
When last August 12 he announced that he was closing his collaboration with Javier Martí, the coach who fitted the springs a year and a half ago to become a real competitor, it was interpreted that the maneuver could represent a step back in the development of a tennis player which brings together a good handful of seasonings to show off at high elevations, but which lacked filming and various edges to polish. However, Badosa is underlined again and will play the fifth semifinal of the year after those he played in Lyon, Charleston, Madrid and Belgrade. This time, he does it in Indian Wells, main square.
We must go back to 2003 to find the last Spanish woman to reach this level in the tournament, when Conchita Martínez did. The Aragonese, Muguruza’s current coach, then yielded against Belgian Kim Klijsters, although in 92 (Seles) and 96 (Graf) she progressed to the end of the event, one of the most distinguished on the calendar and that this year It is being held at this point – traditionally it is in March, and in 2020 it was canceled – due to pandemic circumstances.
In addition to equaling his best record in a WTA 1000 – the second category, behind the Grand Slams – this exercise Badosa raised his first professional title (Belgrade), reached the quarterfinals at Roland Garros, his top in a great stage and has been leaving several notches of relevance such as his victories against number one, Ashleigh Barty (in the Charleston arena), number three, Aryna Sabalenka (Cincinnati) or number eight, Iga Swiatek (Tokyo). Kerber’s approach was not easy either, a veteran (33) who has three greats on her record.
“This means a lot to me, it’s incredible. The second set has been very mental, “he said after the game, which closed with suspense since he had a 5-2 and two match balls in his favor.
Directed now by Jorge García, whom she has known since adolescence, her magnificent performance not only gives her the opportunity to achieve a historic result in the Coachella Valley, but also offers her the possibility of qualifying for the Women’s Masters that will be held at the November 10 to 17 in Guadalajara (Mexico). By the way, a victory in the duel (5.00, Teledeporte) against the Tunisian Jabeur (7-5 and 6-3 to Anett Kontaveit) would allow her to be the eighth Spanish player to enter the top-20 of the circuit after Arantxa Sánchez Vicario (1st), Muguruza (1st) Conchita (2nd), Carla Suárez (6th), Anabel Medina (16th), Magüi Serna (19th) and María José Martínez (19th).
For the other place in the final, Victoria Azarenka and Jelena Ostapenko will measure their strength the next morning.