Martina Navratilova warns Paula Badosa cannot be underestimated on clay. Badosa, who reached a career-high ranking of No 2 in April 2022, is now ranked at No 42 in the world. Around this time last year, Badosa was viewed as a contender for the Madrid, Rome and French Open titles.
But Badosa didn’t have much success during the 2022 clay season as she didn’t do really well in the three biggest clay tournaments. During a conversation with the WTA websiteNavratilova was asked to name under-the-radar players to watch.
“I think she (Badosa) has it in her, to post some solid clay results,” Navratilova said of Badosa. Navratilova also mentioned 22-year-old Potapova, who is ranked at No 25 in the world and coming off a Stuttgart semifinal appearance.
“She’s got a big game, big upset potential. I like her feistiness. She’s a fighter,” Navratilova said of Potapova.
Badosa, Potapova both lost to Sabalenka in Stuttgart
Badosa pretty easily won her first two matches in Stuttgart last week to set up a quarterfinal meeting against Sabalenka.
Badosa had a 6-4 4-2 lead over Sabalenka before the Belarusian stormed back to win 4-6 6-4 6-4. After the match, Sabalenka tipped Badosa to soon reach the top-10. “It was absolutely crazy. She played unbelievable tennis today.
I just tried to keep fighting, keep trying to find my game. She’s a great player and I’m sure very soon she’ll be back in top 10,” Sabalenka said of Badosa. After beating Badosa, Sabalenka also defeated Potapova 6- 1 6-2.
Sabalenka also tipped Potapova to reach the top-10. “It was a great match. I think I played really unbelievable tennis today against Anastasia. She’s a great player. I’d never played against her before, but I’m pretty sure she’s going to be a top-10 player very soon.
Super happy with the win,” Sabalenka said of Potapova. It will be interesting to see if Badosa and Potapova can make some noise at a WTA 1000 event in Madrid.