Muguruza is Inspiration and Obstacle for Badosa
Iga Swiatek spoiled Paula Badosa’s 24th birthday snapping the Spaniard’s eight-match winning streak at the WTA Finals today.
Guadalajara fans will celebrate an all-Spanish semifinal tomorrow when Badosa faces compatriot Garbine Muguruza.
The clash ensures the WTA Finals will feature a Spanish finalist for the first time since 1993 when former world No. 1 Arantxa Sanchez-Vicario fell to Gabriela Sabatini.
Indian Wells champion Badosa is eager and excited for her first meeting with former world No. 1 Muguruza.
“I think it’s amazing to have two Spanish players,” Badosa said. “Of course, Garbine, it’s her fifth time or sixth time playing WTA Finals. For me was already a dream to be here, so you can imagine how I feel to play semifinals and against her.
“As I said at the beginning of the tournament, she’s a player I always admired her because I think she’s amazing, she inspired a lot of Spanish people. I hope with the semifinals, with my year, I hope next years I can do the same as she did with me.”
Both Badosa and Muguruza are power-based baseliners who will try to take the first strike in rallies. Thoughts of a physical battle with Muguruza tomorrow flashed through Badosa’s mind in her round-robin loss to 2020 Roland Garros champion Swiatek today.
“For sure it’s going to be a very tough match,” Badosa said. “For me was a little bit tough today to play because I was little bit thinking about that match. Of course, I didn’t want to get too tired, to be honest, because I know I’m going to have a battle tomorrow.”
Badosa grew up looking up to Maria Sharapova and was inspired by the Russian’s dedication and work ethic.
Stylistically, Badosa says facing Muguruza will be a bit like playing in a mirror.
“If you see our Spanish players, they play, like, totally different as maybe Garbine, of course,” Badosa said. “They play different than me. She was the only player that was quite like super aggressive and good serve, tall, 182. I really saw like a mirror on her, you know?
“She was very helpful. She was an example for me. When I was a little girl, I wanted to be — of course, my idol was Maria Sharapova, but in Spain she was the one that I was following. She was the example. Yeah, it helped me.”
Photo credit: Matthew Stockman/Getty