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By Chris Oddo | @TheFanChild | Thursday November 11, 2021

 
Paula Badosa

From 4-2 down in set one, Paula Badosa reeled off 10 straight games to clinch her first WTA Finals win.

Photo Source: Getty

Aryna Sabalenka was off to a quick start and a 4-2 lead over Paula Badosa during Thursday’s second singles tilt at the WTA Finals in Guadalajara.

Tennis Express

Things were looking good at that point for the Belarusian in a battle of debutantes, but they would go downhill rapidly from there from there as Badosa took command and reeled off the final ten games of the contest to notch a 6-4, 6-0 triumph that moves her to the top of the Group Chichén Itzá standings.


Badosa and Sabalenka were meeting for the second time, with their previous encounter a hard-fought victory for Badosa, 5-7, 6-2, 7-6(4).

Thursday’s encounter looked like it might be similar, but once Badosa got control of things she refused to take her foot off the accelerator as she surged to her 42nd victory of 2021, against 16 losses.

STANDINGS Group Chichén Itzá

Badosa, 1-0 | 2-0 in sets | 12-4 in games
Sakkari, 1-0 | 2-0 in sets | 12-6 in games
Swiatek, 0-1 | 0-2 in sets | 6-12 in games
Sabalena, 0-1 | 0-2 in sets | 4-12 in games


The stats revealed that Badosa and Sabalenka were close on the winner count, with Badosa hitting 14 to 15 for Sabalenka, but the Spaniard played a cleaner game, committing only 19 unforced errors to 31 for Sabalenka.

Like all players, adjusting to the mile-high altitude has been challenging for Badosa, but she says she made peace with the fact that mistakes will happen and just settled on being aggressive.

"First when I come here with the altitude, I thought maybe playing with more spin could help," she said. "Then I see that sometimes it doesn't help. I try to maybe play more flat and more aggressive. I'm just trying and adjusting all the time. I think it's very important to stay intense every point, just go for it. I know and I have to accept that I'm going to miss more than normal. Still I think I played a very good match and I'm really happy."

Badosa saved all five break points she faced and converted six of her seven break opportunities to run away with the match.

Sabalenka admitted that she was too emotional to pull herself out of the tailspin.

“After I lost the serve, I was really disappoint myself and emotionally I was, like, really crazy,” she said. “I couldn't just stop myself and kind of put myself back in the match.”

She added: “I'm really disappoint of myself and of this match. Hopefully I can bring myself back and, yeah, I can win the next matches.”

 

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