By Chris King •
Updated: 02 Jun 2022 • 14:52
Spain’s Paula Badosa created tennis history on Sunday, October 17, by becoming the first-ever female Spaniard to win what is known as the prestigious ‘fifth Grand Slam’ Indian Wells BNP Paribas Open tournament. World-ranked No27 Badosa achieved this fame on her tournament debut as well.
Badosa beat the former Belarusian world champion Victoria Azarenka 7-6 (7-5) 2-6 7-6 (7-2) in three hours and four minutes, in what was a lengthy, but extremely entertaining final in California.
This win is 23-year-old Badosa’s second WTA tour victory this year, having already taken the title in Belgrade back in May. She might be the champion, but in the deciding set, it could have gone horribly wrong as 32-year-old Azarenka served for the match at 5-4 up. It is a sign of her growing maturity that the Spaniard won the game eventually, to turn the tide in her favour.
If the world No 32, and two-time Australian Open winner Azarenka had been victorious, it would have made the former world No1 the first female to win this tournament three times. She won Indian Wells previously in 2012 and then again in 2016.
In a very close match, both players showed incredible tenacity and skill, with the veteran Belarusian constantly returning shots that most would have failed to reach. The first set was a closely-fought affair, with Badosa edging it finally, but Azarenka totally dominated the second set, completely raising her level.
When she broke serve to go 5-4 ahead, the match looked like it was going to be Azarenka’s title, but somehow Badosa fought back before taking an exciting tie-breaker to clinch the title.
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Originally from Wales, Chris spent years on the Costa del Sol before moving to the Algarve where he is a web reporter for The Euro Weekly News covering international and Spanish national news.
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