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May 7, 2024 8:18 pm

Paula Badosa off to promising start in Rome

paula badosa

Former World No. 2 Paula Badosa of Spain showed signs of her old form in beating Russian teenager Mirra Andreeva 6-2, 6-3 on the opening day of the Internazionali BNL d’Italia on Tuesday in Rome.

Badosa made the quarterfinals at Foro Italico last year, but soon a back injury forced her to miss the second half of 2023. She hasn’t been past the Round of 16 in any event since her return in January.

On Tuesday, Badosa saved 5 of 7 break points while converting 5 of 11 chances to break Andreeva’s serve. Badosa won in 94 minutes but came away impressed with the up-and-coming Andreeva in her tournament debut.

“She’s a very good player, amazing future,” Badosa told the Tennis Channel. “I loved how competitive she is. I think she has a very, very bright future ahead.”

Badosa, currently No. 126 in the world rankings, will face American 21st seed Emma Navarro in the second round as she continues her grueling comeback that has tested her physically and emotionally.

“I think my body wasn’t capable of playing a lot of time, so I was getting quite stressed,” Badosa said. “And also I think mentally it affected me in my self-confidence, the injuries. So I’ve been working on these two things a lot lately.”

Andreeva’s Russian counterpart Diana Shnaider fared better, defeating Belgium’s Greet Minnen 6-2, 6-3. Now 20, Shnaider won WTA 250 events in China and Thailand while still a 19-year-old and is making her Italian Open debut.

Only two matches went three sets on Tuesday. Colombia’s Camila Osorio rallied to beat Dutch opponent Arantxa Rus 4-6, 6-3, 6-4 in 2 1/2 hours. In an all-Chinese matchup, Xinyu Wang defeated Yue Yuan 4-6, 6-1, 6-2.

Shelby Rogers needed just 61 minutes to sweep Italy’s Lisa Pigato 6-1, 6-0, and Germany’s Angelique Kerber had an easy 62 minutes, taking care of Lauren Davis by the same score.

Lucrezia Stefanini won a battle of Italians against Vittoria Paganetti, prevailing 7-5, 6-3. Stefanini went 7-for-8 in breaking Paganetti’s serve and capitalized on her opponent’s six double faults.

Poland’s Magdalena Frech defeated Ashlyn Krueger 7-6 (2), 6-3; Romania’s Ana Bogdan eliminated Canada’s Leylah Fernandez 6-4, 6-1; and Yulia Putintseva of Kazakhstan beat Italian Martina Trevisan 6-3, 6-4.

–Field Level Media

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