“Stefanos Tsitsipas is easily a potential world number one” – interview with Paula Badosa

Interview with Paula Badosa
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NEW YORK – A stress fracture in one of her vertebrae has been the nightmare of Spain’s Paula Badosa in 2023: the pain forced her to put and end of the season. However, the Spaniard will continue to travel for now to tournaments accompanying her boyfriend Stefanos Tsitsipas, in whom tennis-wise she has a lot of faith.

“Stefanos is easily a potential world number one. He hasn’t reached his ceiling yet. That’s why I want to support him, because I believe his potential has no limits,” she says in this interview with Paula Badosa, originally published in Greek in SDNA, and exclusively in English and Spanish for CLAY.

Paula Badosa’s goal is to arrive in Melbourne in January to play mixed doubles with the Greek and try to fulfill the couple’s dream of both winning the Australian Open singles title: “My injury is not good right now. It’s a long recovery process, so I hope to be ready in January.”

If her physique’s been the nightmare, her personal life’s been the dream.

Interview with Paula Badosa

– You seemed to have a great time visiting Greece with Stefanos. Was it your first time?

– It was the second time, but I’m in love with Greece, with the Greeks, with the culture, I love the food. It’s one of my favorite countries! This time I explored it with Greek people for the first time was an incredible experience, I really enjoyed it.

– Stefanos was telling me that the sailing experience was not so good…

– (laughs) We had a bad trip, because it was very windy, as is often the case on the Greek islands, specially in summer. I had a little seasickness and thtowing up, but but once we got to into the islands it was amazing. I like food in general and Greek cuisine is my favourite along with Spanish.

– Do you get more tense from the stands watching someone else playing, or on court playing yourself? 

– I’m very surprised, because I’ve watched a lot of matches, but I haven’t watched someone I care about and love, who I want so badly to win. For me it’s very tough because I get so nervous and I really want the best for him, to help him achieve his dreams. Now I’m injured, I won’t be able to play for many weeks, so to be here and be able to help him, to try to make him happy and support him is the best I can do.

– You won’t play until the end of the season, so you’ll be travelling with him?

– Yeah, that’s my plan. I want to be with him as much as he wants to. We have an incredible relationship, first of all we’re best friends and I think that’s very important. I play tennis, so I really understand the moments. The frustration he can have, the pressure he can deal with. I just want him to know that I’m there for him. On the weeks that I can’t play, like I now, I’m gonna be with him. When I start my rehab and recovery, I’ll go back home.

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– Did you expect to have these deep feelings for him when your relationship began?

– I’ll be honest. He’s someone I’ve always followed because I really like his game style, but I also liked his physical appearance because he’s a very attractive man. Also when I was listening to his interviews I found he was different. But we never talked to each other. When we finally started sepaking, I discovered this amazing guy with an amazing soul. At the beggining I never expected this, but when I got to know him better I was really surprised and now I’m so happy we’re together.

– Is it true that he took the first step? That’s surprising because he is a shy person.

– He definetly surprised me. He is shy, but at the same time, I’m shy too. I would never take the first step! In the beginning we were taking our time in the relationship, moving slowly. Once we connected, however, the connection was very strong and powerful. We have similar personalities. Thankfully he made the first step, because I don’t know if I would have! I was too nervous.

– How do you see him as a player?

– Before I even met him I loved how he played, his charisma on court. He’s a fighter, he has variety in his game. He is a potential number one, easily. He is one of the best players in the world, but I think he hasn’t reached his limit yet. He has so much inside him and for sure we will see much more in the future. That’s why I really want to support him, because I think there are no limits to his potential.

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Paula Badosa and Stefanos Tsitsipas are the new couple on tour // INSTAGRAM @TSITSIDOSA

– How are you? How’s the injury?

– My injury is not good right now. You need time to recover from a stress fracture and it’s a long process. I hope to be ready in January. Right now I shouldn’t move because it’s the spine and it’s very delicate. Hopefully I can be healthy enough to be in the Australian Open and play mixed doubles with Stefanos.

– He has also talked about your dream of winning the Australian Open in the same year.

– Yes, that was an amazing dream I had last January after watching him playing the final in Melbourne. I hope one day we can make that dream come true. We both work very hard, but at the same time we try to have fun off the court. On court, though, we work really hard and push each other and motivate each other every morning to be the best version of ourselves. And that’s something I really like to share. We share the same passion and that helps us improve every day.

– It would be an incredible story having a couple winning both singles titles in a Grand Slam.

“It would be amazing and we will fight for it. Let’s see if dreams come true.

– Do you like New York?

– I was born here, so I have a special connection to the city. Of course, sometimes it’s very busy, but we enjoy our time here. We live in an apartment and it’s nice and relaxed. We spend family time and that’s also important.

– I think it also suits you as a city, you like fashion a lot too.

– Yes, I like fashion, that comes from my family (Badosa’s parents used to work in the fashion industry). I love New York, I love shopping, I love that the city never sleeps.

If you enjoyed this interview with Paula Badosa, don’t miss this link to many other interviews with the great tennis stars.

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