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October 14, 2021

Paula Badosa

Press Conference

P. BADOSA/A. Kerber

6-4, 7-5

THE MODERATOR: Paula, if you could walk us through your match tonight.

PAULA BADOSA: Yeah, was a really tough one. I never played her so at the beginning was a little bit surprising for me, her game. As I said, I never played her. I needed some games to adapt.

I think I played quite good and I adapt to her game quite well as well. I fight until the last point. It was very tough but I'm very happy that I could get the win.

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. Ons was hoping you would have a five-hour match. But how were you able to come back into the second set?

PAULA BADOSA: Yeah, first of all about Ons, I hope tonight she eats a lot of burgers and she cannot play. We were talking now (laughter).

No, yeah, it's really fun to play against her. We're really good friends again so I'm playing another friend. It's going to be a tough one. She's playing amazing, as well.

The second set was really tough for me. I got very nervous. But I think she raise her level a lot at 5-2. Then at 5-All I didn't have another chance, so I said, Now or never. I started to play very good again. I got the win.

But, yeah, was tough mentally at that moment because I was 5-2 up, a lot of thoughts coming through my mind, and I could get through it, so I'm happy.

Q. Why shouldn't Angie retire at this point, because she's talked about it?

PAULA BADOSA: Well, I hope she doesn't. I've been seeing her since I'm seven years old. She's been an amazing champion. Before my match I was talking to my coach. I was like, Three years ago I was on the sofa watching her play the finals of Grand Slams. Imagine, I was 200.

For me it was amazing to play against her today. She's an amazing player. She's really, really, really tough. She's an amazing champion, as well. At the net she was super nice. That says it all. I hope she doesn't retire because she's at the best level. She cannot do that.

Q. You talked about making adjustments. How long did it take to get comfortable with the game? Can you talk about the small adjustments you made.

PAULA BADOSA: She's really tough player. She's really tricky. At the beginning I wasn't expecting -- of course I've seen her a lot, but on court she's really tricky, she opens the court a lot. Sometimes she plays short balls but then very long ones. She plays very tactic.

At the beginning it was strange for me. She runs a lot. She sees all the balls where you're going to hit. It's quite tough for me at the beginning and at the end as well. It was a really, really tough one.

I knew I had to stay aggressive and stay on my game plan. That's what I did. I think I served well as well. I'm happy.

Q. When you made the semifinals in Madrid, there was a lot of wow, first one, surprise. You seem very businesslike managing this tournament. Talk about how much more comfortable you feel, if at all, at this stage of a tournament.

PAULA BADOSA: Yeah, of course I had nerves today at the end of the match. I think it was a little bit against who I was playing. I think a lot of things are in (indiscernible) right now in this final tournament, the final, a little bit things on my mind. That was a little bit the things.

I think it's a big change from Madrid. I'm even more confident. When I win a good match, I believe more in myself. Of course, I don't see it normal. I'm very excited every time I win them.

I'm getting more used, so I'm happy about that as well. I think it's a step forward for me.

Q. How are you feeling physically? How is the shoulder after this match?

PAULA BADOSA: As I said the other day, it's still bothering me every day. I'm just treating and trying to be the best as I can.

Of course I can play. Not on my 100% maybe. But still when I warm it up and I treat myself, it's okay. When I think that maybe I'm going to play two, three more tournaments maximum, it's okay. I will have time to rest and recover well after all that.

Q. The Race to Guadalajara is tight. This is an opportunity to maybe make that push. How much was that something you and the team were thinking about after the US Open? Is it a goal for you?

PAULA BADOSA: I never thought about that. I knew, like, in the entire year I was there, maybe I was 13, 14, 15. Sometimes I was looking. I try not to look.

After US Open it wasn't my goal and I had my shoulder issues. I wasn't playing tournaments. I played Ostrava and that's it. Of course, I was always a little bit close. I knew that this tournament, if I did well, I was very close. Right now I'm very close. Could be a goal. Why not?

Q. Between 5-2 and 5-All, how much do you feel it was a sense of her raising her game or was it the nerves?

PAULA BADOSA: I think credit to her. She played very good. The 5-2 I got really nervous. 5-3, 5-4 until 5-All, she played amazing game. Of course I was nervous, but she's an amazing champion. The champions, they play well at the important moments and at the limits. So that's what she did.

Q. Playing Ons, a tricky opponent. How do you preview that challenge?

PAULA BADOSA: Yeah, she's very tricky and she's very talented. I always said she's one of the most talented players in the world. She's doing an amazing year. Of course, she's another good friend of me. It's nice seeing all these players that we were like a few years ago outside the top hundred now being top 10, top 20, fighting for the finals. It's amazing. I'm super happy and I'm happy that I can play her.

Q. You keep playing friends. That says a lot about you. Can you talk about that, your own philosophy.

PAULA BADOSA: Yeah, I think it's really important. I'm really, really proud and happy that I have a lot of friends on tour. Of course, it's lonely and they're you're opponents some days, like maybe tomorrow or the other day with Barbora.

I'm lucky that I have a lot of good relationship with the players. I think it's important. You just compete on court, but outside court you can have a good relationship. I'm like that, as well. We can share moments.

At the final of the day you're spending more moments between each other than with your own family. It becomes even more your family. They become your own family after so many years. I think it's nice like that. I'm very competitive, but on court. Outside court, I don't feel that. I'm happy that I can say that they're my friends.

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