"The level is very high right now and you can lose against anyone," said third-seeded Spaniard after her second-round win.
By Richard Pagliaro | Thursday, May 26, 2022

Family and friends encourage Paula Badosa to calm down and embrace her inner couch potato off court.

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On court, an energized Badosa looks like a woman going places.

The third-seeded Spaniard sped through eight of the last nine points defeating dangerous Kaja Juvan 7-5, 3-6, 6-2 to advance to the Roland Garros third round for the third time in as many appearances.

Battling through a tough three-setter against Juvan, who was coming off the Strasbourg final last weekend, Badosa showed a third-set burst. She won three of the final three six games at love.

"I mean, these kind of matches give you a lot of confidence that I'm already like competitive again, fighting until the last point," Badosa said. "That's very important for me, because maybe I was struggling a little bit on that.

"Sometimes I don't want to complain or be that emotional on court, but sometimes I need it to give everything and to push myself. Yeah, today I think I was back on that competitive spirit, and I'm very happy about that."

It's a joy for Badosa to extend her Roland Garros journey given six of the Top 10 women's seeds failed to reach round three.

When Badosa looks at the Top 10-seeded competitive casualties of the clay—second-seeded defending champion, Barbora Krejcikova, Maria Sakkari, Anett Kontaveit, Ons Jabeur, Karolina Pliskova and compatriot Garbine Muguruza—she says the upsets are unsurprising due to the depth of the women's game.

"In this case, I'm more like, Okay, pay attention, because anything can happen. You saw it today," Badosa said. "Today I had to fight a lot to win the match.

"I think the level is very high right now and you can lose against anyone. There are surprises but they don't surprise me because I'm on tour so I know what you can find on court. Yeah, there has been a lot of surprises."

Then again six of the last 11 women's Grand Slam champions were maiden major winners, including Krejcikova in Paris last June and Emma Raducanu, who became the first qualifier in history to win a singles Slam at the US Open. 

Given what we've seen so far, Badosa expects the unexpected to continue.

"Yeah, the surprises are coming and coming, and it's going to be always like that, because the level has raised a lot," the 2021 Indian Wells champion.

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The lone Spanish woman left standing has a shot to regain the world No. 2 ranking with a repeat run to the quarterfinals.

Currently at No. 3 in the live rankings, Badosa will face a familiar face, Veronika Kudermetova, for a spot in the round of 16.

The 29th-seeded Kudermetova has beaten Badosa in three of five meetings, but the Spaniard has swept both of their 2022 meetings, in Madrid and Indian Wells.

Badosa is focusing on being more positive under pressure, and of course, to keep moving.

"What I'm trying to improve is to be kind to myself and always send these positive messages no matter what. It's something I'm really working on and that I did very well the first round," Badosa said. "Today I think I had very tough moments, and even though that I was maybe a little bit stressed,

"I was sending positive messages to myself. So I'm really happy about that, that I'm improving on that aspect. For me, that's more important than a win."

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