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May 20, 2022

Paula Badosa

Paris, France

Press Conference

THE MODERATOR: Paula, welcome back to Paris. Can you tell us a little bit about how it is to be back here.

PAULA BADOSA: Thank you. Excited to be again here in Paris. As I always say, it's a very special tournament, I have very nice memories from here. I'm really looking forward to start Monday or Tuesday.

THE MODERATOR: Questions in English.

Q. (Question off microphone.) You entered this year as a genuine title contender. What has changed for you in the past 12 months since that run?

PAULA BADOSA: Yeah, I think here was my first Grand Slam as seeded, and I remember I was super excited about that. So, yeah, you can imagine a lot of things have changed the last year. A lot of new things, experience, challenges. Yeah, I'm in another position right now, and trying to learn about that and trying to enjoy as well where I am.

Q. At the Australian Open, you kind of came into that tournament playing well, but gassed a little bit from Sydney. Here, how would you rate your preparation coming into this event? Are you feeling as good as you could possibly feel for this slam?

PAULA BADOSA: Yeah, I remember there saying that I was tired, but I liked it because I was with a lot of matches on my back. Here it's completely different (smiling). So it's as well a challenge, and a new experience I will have to manage and handle.

I mean, I feel well playing on clay. Maybe I didn't play as many matches I was expected, but still, I think the most important is to stay as calm as I can and to try to manage the nerves as best as I can and to be motivated and let's see how it goes.

Q. Is it more difficult at the moment, the last few weeks, because you have high expectations, because you're one of the higher seeds?

PAULA BADOSA: Well, to be honest, I think a lot of things that came these past weeks -- of course expectations have been having from the beginning of the year, because I'm a top-10 player. So you always have that expectations. But I think it's a little bit of everything, too many matches, playing at home wasn't easy. Sometimes, as I said, too many things, too many matches, I was a little bit like collapsed, and I wasn't that fresh mentally.

Of course having expectations and maybe not doing well in that tournament, you feel more pressure and you feel like of course the press and the people are like, What's happening? What's happening? Because you lose matches.

So of course that doesn't help, either. So, yeah, it's a tough situation that I'm learning. I just want to, yeah, try to manage as much as I can these kind of things, because everything is very new, so sometimes I get a little bit scared, and I feel that's a little bit big for me.

Sometimes I'm managing it well, so there is a lot of emotions on me right now, and different tournaments. So I'm trying, what I'm working on, is to try to feel free on court and try to raise my level.

I think that when I feel free and I feel that calm, of course I will have nerves, but that calm, I play well, and I'm competitive. So that's what I want to find here and try to find here in French Open.

Q. I read one of the things you learned is that you want to come off social media. Wondering, can you talk about some of the experiences you have had that led you to that decision? Also, how you think it will help you.

PAULA BADOSA: Yeah, because it was for that reason, because I was feeling so much pressure, I think I lost these past two weeks in maybe early rounds, but they were very tough players. So it could be an option that I lose against these kind of players.

I felt that maybe press, especially in home, was very mean in that case, because what I'm trying to do is just my job well and try to raise -- I give my 100% every day. And of course I'm the first one that doesn't want to lose and I'm already mean on myself, so I don't need these kind of extra comments, because of course it doesn't help my confidence, either.

I'm not a robot, you know. So these kind of things, I decide not to read anymore.

So I'm sorry if someone is tagging me on Twitter or Instagram, because I'm not seeing it. But jokes aside.

Yeah, I think it was the first step to protect myself.

Q. I wanted to ask you, we have been seeing more and more fans at various tournaments after having that long period of very little fans or maybe no fans. I'm wondering, your thoughts on this tournament in particular and Roland Garros and how it might feel different this year with those restrictions that were in place no longer here.

PAULA BADOSA: I think that's helpful, and that's amazing to have again the fans, the atmosphere, the energy. I think the players, we already feel that, and I think it's very nice. Especially in my opinion in my case, I like to play with fans, and I like to feel that energy.

Here, I came as a fan years ago when I was a little girl, so it's always been special. I always felt that love from them, and I think that fans help you perform. Like when tough moments, you feel like there is people supporting you, you feel like their words and their energy.

I think it's very nice to have back on the fans and as well that means we are back to normal and slowly we are getting back there, but that's very good news.

Q. Following up, how old were you the first time you were here as a fan? Do you remember what players you might have seen play matches?

PAULA BADOSA: Yeah, I was 10. I was just coming here almost to see Rafa, to be honest, because I'm a huge fan. He was my idol.

But, yeah, I was seeing all the matches. But to be honest, I'm still a tennis fan, because I have been here a few days ago already, but I love to watch matches. I have been watching qually matches, because I really enjoy the sport. I really like to see new, different players and different levels.

I really enjoy it. So, yeah.

Q. This tournament has obviously been a very special one for you throughout your career, from juniors all the way through. You mentioned, you know, the struggles the last few weeks. Is there something special that kind of can reset things for you in Paris? And also, what is your relationship with the city? What do you do to kind of manage the rhythms of the tournament?

PAULA BADOSA: I hope something changes, to be honest (smiling). No, but, yeah, I felt different already. I don't know. I felt a little bit more calm already arriving in this tournament, so maybe it's my reset. My team is helping me on that, as well. I like the court, so that helps.

About the city, I have been coming a lot to Paris. It's very close by my hometown, and with my family some weekends and everything, so I really like the city and I really enjoy it.

During the tournaments, maybe I don't have that much time, but for a walk or for a disconnection, I like it, because it's a very beautiful city.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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