Paula Badosa opens up about rivalry and friendship with Aryna Sabalenka

Paula Badosa and Aryna Sabalenka’s friendship came to the fore in the Spaniard’s interview after she won her opening round of the 2023 Charleston Open on Tuesday, April 4. She sailed past Mayar Sherif with a convincing 6-3, 6-1 victory.

In a post-match interview, Badosa was asked about her friendship with Aryna Sabalenka and Ons Jabeur and what it brought to her life. Badosa replied that to her it, friendships on tour meant “fun times” and added Victoria Azarenka and Elena Rybakina to the list.

“Fun times. I mean, we see each other throughout the year. Of course, we are rivals but at the same time, we share a lot of moments,” she said. “Azarenka as well, even Elena Rybakina, so it’s nice to have all these top players, amazing players between us and of course, we have that rivalry but at the same time we can call us friends.”

When asked to pick her doubles partner between Aryna Sabalenka and Ons Jabeur, the world no. 33 stated that although she has played more matches with Sabalenka, it was hard to pick as they both had different styles of play.

“I love both, I mean, it’s different. I’ve played many more with Aryna, but I enjoyed with both of them. I have played with Vika and yeah, I enjoy a lot playing with them,” she said.

On a lighter note, the interviewer asked Badosa to pick the better dancer between Sabalenka and Jabeur, to which she first picked the former before playfuly correcting herself:

“Well, me! and then Aryna,” she replied.

Both Badosa and Sabalenka have enjoyed a a healthy rivalry and friendship and often interact via social media.

Aryna Sabalenka opts out of Charleston Open 2023, Paula Badosa through to R32

Aryna Sabalenka in action at the 2023 Miami Open
Aryna Sabalenka in action at the 2023 Miami Open

Aryna Sabalenka withdrew from the ongoing 2023 Charleston Open due to a hamstring injury that she sustained at the Miami Open.

The Belarusian has had a dream run so far, winning her maiden Grand Slam at the Australian Open and registering a 20-3 win-loss record. However, she seemed to face trouble with her left leg during the recently concluded Miami Open. While she continued to play, making it to the quarterfinals of the tournament, she recently took to social media to announce her withdrawal from the Charleston Open.

Sabalenka Aryna
Sad to announce that I have to withdraw from Charleston! I picked up an injury during one of my matches in Miami and I need time to rest and heal. I’m so sorry to the tournament and the fans. I was really looking forward to being back and playing in front of you all! Saby😘🫶

Meanwhile, Paula Badosa opened her clay season with a first-round victory over Mayar Sherif. She will next face Canadian Leylah Fernandez in the second round, who will also come into the match after a straight-sets victory over her first-round opponent, Evgeniya Rodina.

Credit One Charleston Open
Tomorrow, first on Stadium 🍿

👏 Badosa vs Fernandez 👏


View image on Twitter
View image on Twitter

The head-to-head between Badosa and Fernandez stands at 2-0 in the Spaniard’s favor.

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