Paula Badosa came through a tough examination to advance to the third round of the French Open with a 7-5 3-6 6-2 win over Kaja Juvan.
With the second seed Barbora Krejcikova crashing out at the hands of Diane Parry, Badosa has an opportunity to make a deep run at Roland-Garros.
The No. 3 seed dropped only two games in beating Fiona Ferro in the first round. It was a tougher test against Juvan, and Badosa made some tactical mistakes on Court Suzanne-Lenglen, but she fended off a determined fightback from her opponent to advance.
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Badosa is famed for the energy she brings to the court, and said she is the same away from tennis.
When asked about comparisons to the Roadrunner, Badosa said: “That's a funny question because my friends or my family all day are saying, ‘can you please calm down or stay on the sofa for one afternoon.’ It's impossible for me. I have so much energy. That's what helps me as well on matches. I can't complain.
“But yeah, one of my challenges all my life has been that, to stay more calm, and to learn to enjoy, to be on a sofa, to be honest.
“But I'm happy to hear that you saw me moving fast and playing fast, because that's how I play and that's how I want to play. So, yeah, I'm happy that you saw it like that.”
The opening set was hard fought, but Badosa’s weight of shot from the back of the court was enough to secure her an advantage.
In the second, Badosa struggled with her length. Too often, she dropped short and it allowed Juvan to gain control of the rallies.
Juvan was happy to mix things up with drop shots and slices, and it helped secure a break in the sixth game and she kept her cool to force a deciding set.
The underdog called on the trainer at the start of the deciding set, but she continued to trade blows despite looking restricted in her movement.
Badosa grew more and more frustrated, and after failing to put away a smash and then netting a volley in the first game of the third set, she sent her racquet crashing into the ground and yelled in anger.
Her mood was not improved by being given a warning for coaching from the stands after the first gamer of the decider - which led to a lengthy argument between player and umpire. Badosa looked upset with the warning, but it appeared to fire her up as she broke back immediately to get the final set back on serve.
Badosa confirmed she would speak to tournament officials as she was not happy with the coaching warning.
“Normally, as you see, I'm very emotional, so I talk a lot,” Badosa said. “But in that moment, I wasn't looking at my team, so I didn't understand.
“I know the first set she said ‘you cannot have interaction.’ I said 'yes, I know, I'm in a Grand Slam.' But after that, I was paying attention on that because that's important, and I didn't want a coaching violation.
“So, yeah, that's something I'm going to talk now after with supervisors because I wasn't happy with that decision.”
After being the hunter for much of the contest, the pattern shifted and Juvan looked inhibited - mentally as well as physically - as Badosa freed up her forehand and found great power and length.
Badosa struggled on serve, with her ball toss a cause of some concern, but she had enough quality to keep her flagging opponent at bay and progress to round three.
More to follow
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