Paula Badosa Wins First Career WTA Title at Serbia Open

Paula Badosa has claimed her first WTA title…

The 23-year-old Spanish tennis player, who has been an absolute beast on clay this year, battled through double duty on Saturday at the Serbia Open to claim the trophy.

Paula Badosa

Badosa, who improves to 13-2 on clay during the season, defeated Viktoriya Tomova, 6-1, 6-2, before claiming the title with a win over Ana Konjuh when the Croatian qualifier ended the match due to a hip injury while trailing 6-2, 2-0 RET.

“Today wasn’t an easy day, not even in the morning,” Badosa said. “In the afternoon, I think I played an amazing first set, I think I played at a very good level. Ana’s an amazing player, I’m so sorry for her we have to finish like this, but the part that I was playing, I think it was quite good so I’m happy with the level.”

Badosa will rise to a career-high ranking, projected at 34, which might be good enough for a seeding at Roland Garros. Last year in Paris, Badosa reached the round of 16 on the terre battue, and she has gone 19-4 on clay since the start of 2020.

Konjuh can be thankful her problems had nothing to do with the elbow injury that kept her off tour for a year and a half. She hopes to recover in time to take a shot at the French Open. She reached her first final since 2017 Auckland and will see her ranking rise to inside the Top 150 next week (for the first time since 2018).

“Yesterday in the match I kind of pulled my hip flexor,” said Konjuh, who qualified for the main draw, and defeated Maria Camila Osorio Serrano, 7-6(6), 7-6(4) in her first of two matches on Saturday. “I’ve been trying to get it right but this match this morning didn’t really help—it’s been a hell of a fight. I just could not continue and I didn’t want to risk Paris, playing in a few days, and hopefully I can get ready for it.”