Interview: Paula Badosa – 3R (def. Diana Shnaider 6-1 6-3)
Thursday, April 6, 2023
Third round:  Paula Badosa (ESP) def. Diana Shnaider 6-1 6-3
THE MODERATOR: Paula, congratulations back to the quarterfinal again here in Charleston. What makes it so special to play here in front of all these fans?
PAULA BADOSA: Yeah. I think I really like the conditions here. It’s a little bit faster than the red clay, and I think it suits my game pretty well, and as you know, I like to play on clay. So for me starting here the clay swing and the clay season, it’s always special, and I really enjoying playing here.
QUESTION: Definitely a really first set for you, but she definitely came back a little bit stronger in the second. What would you say you were relying on the most to get you through that one?
BADOSA: Yeah. I think I started very aggressive. I was playing very well. Second set, we stopped a little bit. Maybe I lost a little bit of the rhythm. She was playing a little bit looser. Very good forehand, very powerful, and I had to change maybe a little bit how to play. But I think it was a very good second set as well from both sides. So really happy about that.
QUESTION: Paula, congratulations. Some stats. 100 percent break points saved, five aces, first points won on first serve, 83 .3. Winning your third match in a row. I mean, the momentum is building, and you’re moving towards that goal of being that player that you wanted to be in the spring.
BADOSA: Yeah. I mean, you have to start from here, so it’s step by step, day by day, and I hope that I can sit here and chat in a few months and I say, okay, I’m already where I want to be. But it’s still a long journey ahead, but I think the first steps are made and I’m making them, and I hope it continues.
QUESTION: What do you think of the balls, the Dunlop balls? I know that those are new here.
BADOSA: I always think Dunlop is a good brand of balls, maybe the best ones. I know that in the clay season we use Dunlop maybe different ones, Dunlop four or this kind of Dunlop. But they’re pretty good ones, and I think they’re good quality.
QUESTION: Paula, back into the quarterfinals here. I don’t know how much you feel about being back in a space where you feel comfortable. You’ve talked plenty about being in Charleston, but in terms of the conditions and how comfortable you are on that stadium court, do you feel like that’s helped bring out some of your best tennis over the years?
BADOSA: Yeah, for sure. I feel comfortable playing clay. I grew up on clay, so I really like it. I understand the game there. And as well, especially here, I like that court, I like that stadium. I feel very comfortable as well with the fans, and I just enjoy playing here. Maybe this year was a little bit tougher for me because I wasn’t coming with a lot of matches, and it’s not the same as last year that I was maybe more favorite. So for me being, again, in
quarterfinals it’s special.
QUESTION: What were the things that you learned as you made it into the Top 5 and became one of the best in the game? When you do get to this phase of a tournament, do things change for you in terms of routine versus first or second round or are you the kind of player that likes to keep everything just the same?
BADOSA: Yeah. I don’t really change anything. I think I like to play in these kind of rounds. I think that’s what made me Top 5 player. I think every day the level is a little bit more, a little bit more, and I always like to play quarterfinals, semifinals, finals. I think that’s where I play the best game, and I hope it’s like that this week.
QUESTION: We noticed you keep getting scheduled in the morning. Do you like that?
BADOSA: Yes. Yes, I do. Yeah, first day was at 11, and then after that I was talking with the supervisor, and she was like, is it okay for you first match? And I was like, it’s perfect, because I wake up early. I’m waking up very early. I don’t know if it’s still the jet lag. But I’m an early-morning person, so at 11 for me is perfect.
QUESTION: Get it done.
QUESTION: The wind today is a little bit more brisk than it has been. Did that affect your play at all?
BADOSA: Not really. I mean, I noted it, and I tried to play with that, but, yeah, sometimes some places are more windy than here and it’s worse. Here it didn’t bother me that much.
QUESTION: Possibly against Jess Pegula next. You’ve been close. You looked at this year, that match against Rybakina in Miami obviously. When you take on someone like Jess, what are the keys? I think you guys have only played once before.
BADOSA: Yeah. I wouldn’t count that match because it was in Miami last year. I was sick, and I had to retire. We practiced a few times, and for me, she’s a very high-level player. She’s very consistent as well. It’s going to be, if it’s her, a very tough match. But, yeah, I mean she’s No. 3 in the world, or I don’t know right now, but I think she’s as well 3 in the race. So she’s playing amazing, and I know I will have to play my best, but I like these kind of challenges.