Paula Badosa provides fitness update after injury nightmare

The 2023 tennis season was a frustrating one for Paula Badosa, but the former world No 2 is slowly but surely regaining full fitness ahead of the new campaign and there is a sense of relief.
Badosa missed three of the four Grand Slams this year as she only featured at Wimbledon, winning one match at the grass-court Grand Slam before retiring midway during her second-round clash due to injury.
In total, the Spaniard played 27 matches as an abductor injury forced her to miss the early part of the season while a stress fracture in the L4 vertebra disrupted the second half of her campaign.
The rehab has been long and arduous, but Badosa finally returned to court in Abu Dhabi recently as she took part in the exhibition World Tennis League.
Although she played only mixed doubles alongside her boyfriend Stefanos Tsitsipas and women’s doubles alongside friend Aryna Sabalenka, the 26-year-old feels she is “getting there” in terms of her fitness for the 2024 season.
“It’s been tough months for me and after struggling a lot, I am finally I am on court and I can say I’m healthy, I’m feeling good and really looking forward to next year,” Badosa told Gulf News.
“I’m getting there. I think I’m 80 per cent fit but it’s already a big improvement because a month ago I wasn’t able to step on a court. I think I’m getting there.”
The Spaniard added: “This tournament has helped me a lot because it’s is the first time I am back on court after many months out. So for me being able to play even if it’s doubles, because I really have to start slowly, to be able to play with the best players in the world, it’s something that it’s very good for me and it’s a big test.”
READ MORE: Paula Badosa and Stefanos Tsitsipas set to form mixed doubles dream team for the first time
Ranked as high as No 2 in 2022, Badosa started the 2023 season at No 13, but finished at No 64 following her extended time on the sidelines.
But her low ranking has made her more determined ahead of the 2024 season.
“Yes, I dropped out of the top 50, but it was something that I couldn’t control because it’s an injury,” she said.
“I will try to avoid as much as I can. My goals for the new season is to stay healthy, that’s the most important one, and, of course, I want to get back to the top and be with the best players in the world.”

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