Indian Wells, California (AP) Paula Badosa defeated Victoria Azarenka 7-6 (5), 2-6, 7-6 (2) on Sunday to debut in the Southern California desert where the tournament took place at the BNP Paribas Open Won the championship. He returned after two and a half years of absence due to the coronavirus.
She joined Bianca Andreesque in 2019 and Serena Williams in 1999, winning her first appearance. Winning Belgrade earlier this year was the second title in Badosa’s career.
Cameron Norrie faced Nikoloz Basilashvili in a later men’s final.
Badosa and Azarenka struggled for more than three hours, with five consecutive interruptions in service. Last time, Azarenka took the lead of 5-4 in 3rd place, and Badosa broke with 5 all-ties.
“We were both aiming for shots and pushing each other to the maximum,” Azarenka said.
Badosa missed his backhand, so Azarenka was able to hold with a 6-all.
Badosa dominated the tiebreaker, leading 6-2. Azarenka threw a forehand into the net, giving Badosa match points.
Badosa collapsed at baseline after breaking the forehand winner. Before she gets up, she lays face down, crying and shivering. Azarenka went around the net and hugged a 23-year-old Spaniard.
“I remember seeing you when I was 14 or 15,” Badosa told Azarenka after raising the Crystal Trophy. “I told my coach,” I hope I can play like her someday. “
Two-time major champion and former top-ranked Azarenka was aiming for his second title since 2016. She won her last victory at Cincinnati in 2020. A 32-year-old woman from Belarus missed her bid to be the first woman to win the title in 2012 and 2016 and win the Indian Wells three times.
Azarenka’s season was interrupted by an injury and she was sent off early at a Grand Slam event. Her best result was to play the fourth round at the French Open.
“This year was a bit challenging,” she said. “But it wasn’t necessarily the result I wanted, but the progress I was looking for, and ended up with a strong note. That’s really positive.”
Azarenka noticed that her four-year-old son Leo was watching on TV.
“I’m not going to bring back the biggest trophy, but it’s still a trophy and I’m sure he will enjoy playing with it,” she said.
In the first set of tiebreakers, Badosa had a 4-0 and 5-3 lead. Azarenka tied it five-all in Badosa’s net forehand. Azarenka missed the backhand to give Badosa set points, and the Spaniards cashed in with the backhand winner to take the set.
“It was like a roller coaster mentally and emotionally,” Badosa said.
She defeated 5th seed Barbora Krejčkova in the 4th round, 15th Angelique Kerber in the quarterfinals and 14th Ons Jabeur in the semifinals with a straight set to advance to the finals.
“The first thing I learned this week was that there was nothing impossible,” Badosa said.
Badosa earned $ 1.2 million. That’s more than last year’s $ 1 million prize pool.
She participated in a tournament ranked 27th in the world. A year ago she was 87 years old. Badosa is expected to rise to 13th place in his career in the WTA Tour Rankings on Monday.
“I never expected it to happen so quickly,” she said.
Badosa may not be held this year either. By winning the title, she overtook Ons Jabeur in the eighth and final qualifying spot in the WTA Finals race next month in Guadalajara, Mexico.
The combined ATP and WTA tour event was one of the first major sporting events canceled in March 2020, when the coronavirus became established in the United States. Next year we will return to the regular March slots.
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Badosa lasted longer than Azarenka and won Indian Wells at his debut | WGN Radio 720
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