"Couldn't understand why people can hate me without knowing me" - Paula Badosa on dealing with haters

BNP Paribas Open - Day 12
Paula Badosa in action at the BNP Paribas Open.

Paula Badosa is one of the many athletes to receive uncalled-for hate on a daily basis. The tennis superstar recently spoke about her experience with the dark side of social media and how she has learned, or is still learning, to deal with it.

Badosa is one of the most followed players on tour and her fan base has gone up considerably over the last couple of years, owing to her quick rise to the top of the sport. However, she has also experienced a lot of haters who send unsavory messages on her social media feeds, similar to what many of her colleagues regularly go through as well.

While Badosa achieved a career-high ranking of No. 2 earlier this year, 2022 has thrown up many new challenges along the way. Among the biggest has been dealing with haters.

"I'm dealing with so many new things this year. One of the things that I'm dealing with is that, of course, I love them and I have a lot of fans, but for the first time I feel as well that I have haters," Paula Badosa said during a recent interview with the WTA.

Badosa could not come to terms with the fact that people were saying hateful things without even knowing her.

"That was very tough for me to understand because I couldn't understand why people can hate me without knowing me, you know?" Badosa added.

While it initially affected her deeply, the Spaniard has gotten better at dealing with haters and reacting to social media messages. The 2021 Indian Wells champion stated that she has accepted the fact that she will always face criticism as an athlete and a celebrity, regardless of how well she conducts herself on and off the court.

"It's still tough for me to see people that, no matter what you do, they're still going to judge you and criticize you, and they're going to hate you. I'm still dealing with that and it's something that's tough to handle," the 24-year-old continued.

"Don't know about other players, but I was reading them" - Paula Badosa on messages on her social media handles

Paula Badosa in action at the 2022 San Diego Open - Day 4
Paula Badosa in action at the 2022 San Diego Open - Day 4

During the same interview with the WTA, Paula Badosa further revealed that she used to read all the messages left by fans on her social media handles, before realizing that it was a bad idea to do so. She said she was affected by some of those messages and the language used, particularly when she lost, before concluding that she will always be attacked by naysayers who hold different opinions from her.

Badosa then stated that she does not feel affected by hateful messages anymore and is just focused on controlling the controllables.

"Of course I was looking at the messages, but it's the worst decision you can do, because, of course, people will have their opinions," Badosa said. "When you lose, it won't be good and you read things you don't like and will hurt you. I don't know about other players, but I was reading them because I really cared what people think. That's one of the things I'm changing because I cannot care about what everyone says as I cannot control that."

Badosa also revealed that she dealt with the issue by going off social media for a few months since it was even affecting her sleep.

"The things that I do and that worked was that I had to delete social media a few months ago. I couldn't really sleep because I thought maybe what people were saying was true...So that was the first step I made," Paula Badosa concluded.

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