Badosa falls into a disconcerting afternoon of stoppages and rain with Vekic (2024)

Paula Badosa ends up disappointed on this Sunday, when, oh surprise, the English clouds do not forgive. The rain falls hard and thick, it comes and goes one more day and the round of 16 duel against the Croatian Donna Vekic goes by in a disconcerting way, in fits and starts, very difficult for both of them to find the rhythm. “But this tournament is like that, it is characterised by this and we can only accept it. She has played very well in the last two games and it is her merit,” says the Catalan with a very long face, already eliminated. Scheduled for eleven in the morning, it ends around seven thirty in the evening, with three long breaks in between and an outcome that the Spaniard feels bad about: 6-2, 1-6 and 6-4, after 1h 37m. Too much coming and going from the locker room, and a farewell that hurts in the heat of the moment but that, analysed in perspective this last journey, surely comforts.

It has been a long time, since July 2022, precisely Wimbledon, since the Spanish player (26 years old) reached the fourth step in a Grand Slam. And she has also managed to compete in four matches in a row without her back slowing her down. However, her face conveys that the moment weighs more than the overall reading, although in the answer she leans towards the second path. How does she leave here, after landing in the second week of the competition? “A mix, but obviously I am going to stay with the positive, which is what characterizes me; with continuing to fight. It has been a good tournament, but I have not managed to take another step. I am going to keep coming back for more years and see if one day I can do it…”, she answers in an intervention that is reduced to three minutes, one question in the English turn and four in the Spanish turn.

The Catalan was not far from victory in a difficult afternoon. She started two hours late on schedule and then braked twice. She was inferior in the first set, but recovered strongly in the second, sealed with a direct serve, but in the delicate moments of the third Vekic ended up prevailing. And that was despite Badosa having managed to neutralize the break of the Croatian (28 years old and 37th) at the start of the last stretch. Then, the last break, with 4-3 in favour of the opponent, more inspired from the baseline in the resolution that guides her to the quarterfinals.

She spoke later and, from her tone, the room got the impression that she was capable of more. She seemed unsatisfied because her desire probably wanted to go faster than reality dictated. The English have shown signs of an upturn in recent days and her physical condition has responded, but the bar for the present remains high and her tennis, for the moment, is not up to it.

“This tournament is not a turning point, I think I’ve been at the turning point for a few weeks now. I said it the other day: in Madrid [dura caída en primera ronda] It was the turning point. That was really a turning point, hitting rock bottom. Since then I have been playing good matches, losing against the best in the world, because she [Vekic] I consider her to be one of the best on this surface. So all the matches I am losing are of a high level. I am missing that step, but coming from where I come from, I think that for the moment the dynamic is good,” she explains.

Since the date indicated by the player, Madrid, late April, the service record reflects defeats against Coco Gauff (two in the world, in Rome), Sabalenka (the third, at Roland Garros) and Jule Niemeyer (the 96th, in Bad Homburg). Badosa arrived at the All England Club as the 93rd, again among the top 100, and the victories against Muchova, Fruhvirtova and Kasatkina gave her a considerable jump in the ranking. rankingup to 64th place. However, for her, this is elite sport and that is how athletes feel, it is not enough. Hungry, she wants to quickly return to the top and shine, but tennis, like everything, usually requires specific times that should be respected.

RADUCANU, A TRUNCATED DREAM

AC | London

Emma Raducanu’s flight is over. The 21-year-old Briton lost to New Zealander Lulu Sun (6-2, 5-7, 6-2) and was eliminated from the tournament, meaning the entire local representation will disappear.

But Sun’s surprise is not the only one. Another Emma, ​​this one Navarro, eliminated the world number two, Coco Gauf, by 6-4 and 6-3. And the Italian Jasmine Paolini, who like them, had never won a match in the London Grand Slam, was added. She benefited from the withdrawal of Madison Keys due to injury (6-3, 6-7(6) and 5-5).

If Vekic is added to the three players mentioned above, the final will be a surprise for the lower half of the draw, because one of them will be a finalist. The Croatian will face Sun and the other match will be Paolini-Navarro.

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Badosa falls into a disconcerting afternoon of stoppages and rain with Vekic (2024)

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