Paula Badosa revealed on Netflix’s tennis documentary “the negative voices” that occupied her mind while she was getting demolished by Simona Halep in front of her home fans in Madrid. Badosa, who was the second seed at last year’s WTA 1000 Madrid event, came to the Spanish capital knowing the locals were expecting her to win the title.
After beating Veronika Kudermetova in the Madrid first round, Badosa was ousted by Halep in the second round as the Romanian beat the Spaniard 6-3 6-1. Down by a set and two breaks, Badosa revealed on Break Point what was going through her mind during those moments.
“Mentally I’m blocked. I’m struggling so much. I just can’t find my level. I really want to leave the court. I have so many negative voices in my head. ‘You are a bad player You are not able to do this.’ It’s very tough to turn it off,” Badosa said on the fourth episode of Break Point.
Badosa on her battle with depression
After Badosa won the 2015 French Open girls’ singles title, she was compared to Maria Sharapova due to her height and style of play. But being compared to a great champion like Sharapova only increased pressure on Badosa and put her in a bad place.
“I’ve been struggling for years with a lot of depression. People were talking about me like I was the next big thing, the next Maria Sharapova. I felt like, ‘Wow, now I have to be a legend. Maybe next year, I have to be a Top 10 player.’ So, for me, it was a lot of pressure.
It was very tough for me because I didn’t know what to do in that moment. Life didn’t have a lot of sense because ever since I was seven years old, my dream was to be a professional tennis player. It was very bad.
I didn’t want to go on a tennis court. I started to try to find solutions to work on it, with mental health professionals. I’ve been very open in the press and everywhere about my mental health struggles because even the best athlete in the world can feel this.
I’m in a position right now that if I can talk, I can help other people. A lot of people don’t talk about it because they feel they’re going to be weaker, but I think it’s totally the opposite. I’m fighting a lot mentally to try and find myself again,” Badosa explained in the fourth episode.
Meanwhile, Badosa has had a rough start to the 2023 season. After sustaining a right thigh injury at the United Cup, Badosa was forced to skip the Australian Open.