Paula Badosa Rallies to Upset Daria Kasatkina & Reach Third Round at Wimbledon

Paula Badosa has pulled off a special upset…

The 26-year-old Spanish professional tennis player rallied from a break down in the final set to snap Daria Kasatkina‘s seven-match win streak and advance to the Round of 16 at Wimbledon.

Paula Badosa,The former World No.2 came back from 4-2 down in the third set to win 7-6 (6), 4-6, 6-4 in 2 hours and 51 minutes.

“I know it’s not my first time in the second week of a Grand Slam,” Badosa said on court, “but for me it’s a special one because a few months ago I didn’t know if I could play tennis anymore. So to be here is very special.”

Badosa did not hold back tears after the hard-fought win, which put her into Wimbledon’s second week for the third time in her career and first since the debilitating back injury that has plagued her since the start of 2023. It was the same stress fracture that forced her retirement from Wimbledon 12 months ago and shut down the remainder of her season.

Badosa choked back the tears as the crowd gave her a rousing ovation for her efforts.

“One of the reasons I come back on the court is for you guys,” Badosa told the crowd. “Hearing my name and cheering for me, it’s really for you guys. I really feel the love.”

Badosa returned to competition in January but the struggles were evident. In the first four months of the year, she won back-to-back matches just once, exacerbated by three in-match retirements.

“In Indian Wells, the doctors told me it would be very complicated to continue my career,” Badosa said on the WTA Insider Podcast.

“I said, ‘A few more years? I’m still 26.’ For me that was very tough.”

But with the help of cortisone shots and a refusal to let her career whittle away, Badosa quietly built up belief in her body and her tennis once again. Her run to the Round of 16 in Rome, where she beat Mirra Andreeva, Emma Navarro and Diana Shnaider before taking Coco Gauff to a third set, was a huge catalyst. Then came two wins over Katie Boulter and Yulia Putintseva at Roland Garros.

She came into Wimbledon after making her first quarterfinal of the season, on the grass at Bad Homburg. That run put her back in the Top 100 at No.93.

Badosa has played like a woman renewed at SW19. It began with clinical wins over Karolina Muchova and Brenda Fruhvirtova. That set up a true gut-check against Rothesay International champion Kasatkina, who was bidding to extend her win streak to a personal-best eight matches.

After a delayed start due to rain, Badosa raced to a 3-0 lead before Kasatkina slowly and methodically reeled her in. After trailing 5-2, Kasatkina won three consecutive games and saved three set points to keep the set in the balance, but Badosa surged from 5-5 in the tiebreak to take the set.

Kasatkina struck back in the second set with a timely break in the 10th game to take the set and rode that momentum to a 4-2 lead in the decider. But the Eastbourne champion failed to consolidate the break and Badosa was off and running. With more aggressive, disciplined hitting, the Spaniard won the last four games to seal her first Top 20 win in over a year.

“I’ve always been very tough mentally and a fighter, so I was going to do it anyway,” Badosa said. “So for me, I’m very proud that I’ve been through all of this. And now that I’m, again, in the fourth round and playing good level again, because sometimes also when I came back at the beginning of the year and struggling so much, my level wasn’t there. I feel myself so far away. Now seeing myself back at it, it means a lot.”

Leave a Reply