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Badosa 'fights' for career despite injury

Updated: 2024-04-25 10:03
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Spain's Paula Badosa in action. [Photo/Agencies]

Former world No 2 Paula Badosa on Tuesday vowed to "keep fighting" for her career despite doctors telling her "it would be complicated" to continue playing professional tennis due to a stress fracture she sustained in her back last year.

The Spaniard was told that she might have to manage her pain using cortisone shots in order to stay competing, and admits she has had many low moments as she tries to come to terms with the medical advice she is being given.

"I cried a lot, and I'm still crying sometimes when I hear that, and when I have talks with the doctors," Badosa told reporters at the Madrid Open ahead of her first-round match.

"But, at the same time, I have this personality, this character that's like, 'I will still get through it, I will still keep fighting'. I'm like that, I'm a little bit stubborn, but I think maybe, in this case, that can help."

Besides consulting with doctors, Badosa has turned to many of her colleagues — including Andrey Rublev, Karen Khachanov and Bianca Andreescu — who have suffered similar injuries, seeking encouragement.

"Sometimes you just don't want to accept what the doctor says and you're like, 'for sure they're making a mistake'. I just try to stay positive," added the 26-year-old.

"There are some days that I wake up and I'm not feeling that well, and I ask myself: 'is this worth it?'"

Badosa, who did not play last year after exiting Wimbledon in July due to the injury, was forced to retire from her second-round clash with Australian Open champion Aryna Sabalenka in Stuttgart last week with a minor adductor tear.

But, she had pushed the world No 2 before that, with the players level in a deciding set.

"It's the level that you want to be at — that fighter again. So, even though I didn't win in that moment, for moments like that, I will keep fighting," she said.

Badosa is undergoing four hours of treatment every day to be ready for the action in Madrid.

Meanwhile, Chinese world No 8 Zheng Qinwen revealed she sustained a leg injury in Stuttgart, and is hoping she recovers in time for her opener at the Caja Magica.

Unlike most of her compatriots, Zheng enjoys competing on clay, thanks to her years of training in Spain, where she developed a heavy top-spin on the red dirt.

Her first Grand Slam breakthrough came at Roland Garros in 2022, when she made the fourth round, and the 21-year-old will have many eyes on her at the French Open next month after reaching this year's Australian Open final.

"I'm always excited when the clay season arrives, but I don't want to be overexcited, because when you get overexcited, injuries can happen.

"Maybe that's why (I got injured)," Zheng said.


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