Paula BADOSA bows out tearfully against Aryna SABALENKA in in Porsche Tennis Grand Prix Clash

Thursday, 18 April 2024 at 01:21
Paula Badosa retired mid-match against Aryna Sabalenka, who advanced to the quarterfinals of the WTA 500 Porsche Tennis Grand Prix. The Spanish player put up a strong fight, but physical issues forced her to withdraw during the third set, giving way to the world No. 2 with a score of 7-6, 4-6, 3-3, ret.
In the first set, both players demonstrated strong serving, leading to minimal differences between them. Sabalenka faced her first challenges in the sixth game, where Badosa capitalized on her third break point to take a 4-2 lead.
However, the Belarusian managed to break back in the following game, leveling the score at 4-4. Badosa had two set points on Sabalenka's serve at 6-5, but ultimately, the set went to a tie-break. Despite Badosa initially leading 3-1, Sabalenka won six of the next seven points, clinching the set 7-6(4).
Playing on indoor clay favored Sabalenka's powerful serve, with a first serve percentage of 63% and a win rate of 77%, although her second serve percentage dropped to 44%. Badosa had a first serve percentage of 61%, winning 60% of those points and 63% with her second serve.
The second set started well for Badosa, who secured an early break in the first game and then held her serve to maintain the lead. Both players elevated their first-serve effectiveness, especially Badosa, who barely allowed extended rallies. Badosa saved a couple of break points against her serve and secured another break to go up 5-2.
Although Sabalenka fought back and retrieved one of the breaks, Badosa ultimately claimed the set 6-4. Following the set, Badosa displayed physical discomfort and requested medical assistance, leaving the court for treatment.
Badosa returned to the court and initially gained an advantage in the early stages of the third set, taking a 3-1 lead. However, her physical issues became apparent, and Sabalenka mounted a comeback to level the set at 3-3 against a diminished Badosa, who decided to retire. Badosa left the match in tears, embracing her friend Sabalenka, following a year filled with injuries.
In the quarterfinals, Sabalenka awaits the winner of the match between former Wimbledon champion Marketa Vondrousova (No. 8) and Russian Anastasia Potapova (No. 36).

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