Badosa boosts title credentials in style

The No.3 seed fired 25 winners to soar into the second round after just 54 minutes of play.

Paula Badosa, Roland Garros 2022, first round© Philippe Montigny/FFT
 - Alex Sharp

Paula Badosa powered into the second round with a flawless 6-2, 6-0 victory over French wildcard Fiona Ferro.

The No.3 seed, who has reached the second week on both previous visits to Roland-Garros, had too much in her repertoire for her opponent on Court Philippe-Chatrier.

Story of the match

The scoreline was deceptive in the early exchanges as Badosa quickly opened up a 4-1 lead. Both players were finding the angles and displaying their clay-court prowess, but the Spaniard was claiming the vital points.

Locked at deuce, Badosa canvassed the net and was rewarded for some sharp reaction volleys to extend her advantage.

At 5-2 Badosa was really in the groove, skipping around a short ball to flick an inside forehand winner.

What could Ferro, a fourth round player in Paris in 2020, conjure up in response?

Little, it seemed, as world No.4 Badosa lasered a piercing backhand cross court and then closed out the set in just 36 minutes.

In the second set the points were rapid, the Spaniard’s front foot striking too ferocious for Ferro as Badosa soared to 3-0 in under eight minutes.

Having lost the first point of the set Badosa underlined her dominance, erasing another chance of a comeback by taking 18 points in a row.

There was time for a final piece of magic as the world No.4 accelerated to the net to clip a backhand over the tape and past the reach of Ferro.

With just 54 minutes on the clock the 2015 girls’ champion continued her main draw mission, through for a second round duel against Slovenia's Kaja Juvan.

Fiona Ferro, Paula Badosa, R1, Roland-Garros 2022

Key stats

93 per cent of first serve points won (26/28) enabled Badosa to dictate play and attack on return.

The Spaniard offered up no break points and kept Ferro on the back foot with a head-turning 25 winners.  

What the players said

Paula Badosa: “Yeah, I’m really happy, I wasn’t expecting this result. I know she’s a very good player on clay, so I was expecting a very physical match.

“But I’m very happy, I was so nervous to come back here. I think one of the keys this year and my career will be how I manage all of these kind of situations and all these kind of nerves.

"It’s a very special tournament for me, I really want to do well here.”

Last year the 24-year-old played Roland-Garros ranked at No.35. Fast forward a year and she is a key title contender.

“Yes, I have goosebumps, last year was a very special one and this tournament as well, I remember losing quarter-finals and it was very painful. Stepping back on Court Philippe-Chatrier again was very special.”

Badosa has been very open about her recent struggles dealing with the undulations of life at the top of tennis. The No.3 seed is delighted with how she handled the occasion.

"I have a lot of emotions there, because of course maybe I'm one of the favourites, so I feel good and I feel confident.

"But at the same time, I feel pressure, because I feel that if I lose in the first rounds, I didn't do well with expectations.

"So I have both emotions and that's what I'm working on. I'm trying to feel that power and confidence side more than the nerves and the pressure. That's one of my goals here at Roland-Garros."