Paula Badosa produces Roland Garros comeback epic to down Katie Boulter

Tuesday, 28 May 2024 at 23:42
As play continues at Roland Garros well into the midnight sun, Paula Badosa produced an epic win on the outer courts which saw the crowd not only chanting her name but also the same for her opponent Katie Boulter as she sealed the win 4-6, 7-5, 6-4 to reach the second round.
It is the first match she has won at Roland Garros since 2022. With injury hell especially over the last year, Badosa has went through it a lot more than most players but it is glimmers of light like this that make it worth it.
Boulter who had never won at the clay Grand Slam under the watchful eye of boyfriend Alex de Minaur won the first set and looked to potentially be heading through in the power couple battle with the Spaniard of course recently reuniting with Stefanos Tsitsipas. But this wasn't the case.
It was a must watch tie despite the fact that both had the same outfit on, were using the same racket and have the same features so it was very much a Where's Wally type affair where seeing anything actually courtside was an interesting one it seemed.
But Badosa certainly saw her trajectory fly. She went 4-2 down in the second set before breaking back to hoist herself into a 5-4 lead suddenly. She scrapped and saved break points on both of her next two service games before nicking the set. With her confidence certainly up, Badosa emerged from a break point fest to start the third keeping a slender advantage as both dominated on serve. It was a late break again that claimed it as Badosa didn't allow a single break point to the Brit but snared the only one herself next game to win it. Next up for her is Yulia Putintseva. Then maybe her best friend, Aryna Sabalenka again in the third round. A constant thorn in her side it seems in recent months and they could battle again.

Stearns works overtime as Keys, Navarro and Azarenka impress

Elsewhere, it was from the sublime to the dawg spirit returning as Peyton Stearns who again could face Victoria Azarenka had to toil and work hard but the Rabat champion who never seems to make it easy made it through.
A lot like Tom Hill's previous player in Maria Sakkari, Stearns is never one to win a match easy. After missing five match points in the second set, the 22-year-old American sealed it 6-3, 6-7, 7-6 right at the death. Whilst, former World No.1 Azarenka had it more easy against Nadia Podoroska winning 6-1, 6-0. She now faces Mirra Andreeva in a top second round tie. The 17-year-old Russian saw off Emina Bektas 6-2, 6-3.
Other victors included Emma Navarro who also made swift work of her opponent. She saw off Zeynep Sonmez 6-2, 6-0. Madison Keys joined her in the next round with the Strasbourg champion seeing off Renata Zarazua 6-3, 6-2. Sloane Stephens who usually is a sure-fire bet to find her way through was shockingly beaten 6-1, 6-2 by Yulia Putintseva. The win was not a shock, but the scoreline certainly was. She started her clay court season with a title and now misses the second week for the second time since 2016.

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