Paula Badosa and Maria Sakkari won their respective round-robin matches in the Chichén-Itzá group in the WTA Finals in Guadalajara on Thursday.
In the evening session, Badosa defeated top seed Aryna Sabalenka 6-4, 6-0 in an hour and 16 minutes. The Spaniard, who’s making her debut in the season-ending tournament this year, overturned a 2-4 deficit in the opening set to win the consecutive 10 games and clinch victory in the match.
This was Badosa’s seventh win on the trot, going back to her title run at the BNP Paribas Open in Indian Wells. The world no. 10 hit 14 winners and had 19 unforced errors to her opponent’s 15 winners and 31 unforced errors. Badosa also made good of all five break points she had on Sabalenka’s serve while saving six of the seven break points, she faced.
WTA Finals: Paula Badosa maintains momentum
“At that moment maybe, I was playing a little bit waiting (for) what could happen and didn’t want to miss. Sometimes the more you doubt in these conditions, the more you miss. So, at that moment I accept the moment,” Badosa said, referring to how she adjusted her game when trailing her higher-ranked opponent in the first set. “I wasn’t happy with my service game. I said to myself, ‘OK, now you have to be as her level, aggressive, because she was being very aggressive.’ I wanted to play against her. Let’s see how it goes. Even though maybe it could go well, it could go bad. That’s what I did. I said, Now, you have to change, stop waiting for her miss and go for it. That’s what I did.”
Paula Badosa’s next opponent – on Saturday – will be Maria Sakkari. The Greek, who’s a fellow debutant in the WTA Finals in Guadalajara, outplayed familiar nemesis, Iga Swiatek in their round-robin clash. Sakkari needed an hour and 26 minutes to post a 6-4, 6-2 win over the Pole. The most definitive stat of the match was Sakkari winning 26 of the 27 first-serve points she put in play, leaving Swiatek quite confounded in her wake of dominance.