Aryna Sabalenka on Paula Badosa: "When you find someone who you feel is your soulmate, the best thing that can happen to you"

Aryna Sabalenka with Paula Badosa
Aryna Sabalenka with Paula Badosa

Aryna Sabalenka recently opened up about her close friendship with Paula Badosa, describing her as her "soulmate."

Both Sabalenka and Badosa are currently preparing to kick off their campaign at the 2024 Madrid Open. The Spaniard will start her campaign at her home tournament by facing off against compatriot Jessica Bouzas Maneiro in the first round.

Meanwhile, Sabalenka will commence her title defense at the WTA 1000 tournament in the second round after being granted a first-round bye. Her first match will be against either Magda Linette or Elisabetta Cocciaretto.

During a pre-tournament press conference, Aryna Sabalenka talked about her close friendship with Paula Badosa. She revealed that they have been friends for the past three to four years and described Badosa as an "incredible person."

The World No. 2 stated that it was important to have close friends on the tennis circuit and expressed that finding a "soulmate" in someone is the best thing that can happen.

"I love Paula [Badosa] very much. We have been friends for three or four years, she is an incredible person. It is very important to have friends on the circuit, so when you find someone who you feel is your soulmate, it is the best thing that can happen to you," Badosa said, as quoted by Punto de Break (translated from Spanish).

Sabalenka called Badosa the "best" and expressed her hope that the Spaniard overcomes her injury struggles and returns to being the "elite" player she once was.

"She is the best. I hope she returns to the elite, that she stops suffering with injuries. I am always here for whatever she needs. I am lucky not to meet her in the first round here in Spain, it would create a very interesting atmosphere, so I think I'm lucky (laughs)," she added.

"I’m really grateful to have such a friend like Paula Badosa" - Aryna Sabalenka

Aryna Sabalenka (L) and Paula Badosa at the 2022 Porsche Tennis Grand Prix Stuttgart
Aryna Sabalenka (L) and Paula Badosa at the 2022 Porsche Tennis Grand Prix Stuttgart

Aryna Sabalenka last met Paula Badosa on the WTA tour in the second round of the recently concluded Stuttgart Open.

Sabalenka won the match after Badosa retired due to a left thigh injury, with the final score being 7-6(4), 4-6, 3-3(ret.). Following her win over the Spaniard, Sabalenka expressed sympathy for Badosa for the pain she has been going through.

The Belarusian also talked about how it is important to have a close friend in the competitive tennis circuit.

"I think it’s very important in this competitive atmosphere to have a friend. Love this girl, and I feel so bad, [she’s] not feeling her best and I literally was about to cry," Sabalenka said.

Aryna Sabalenka also stated that she was grateful to have a friend like Paula Badosa.

"I feel for her and I really hope that she’s gonna recover as soon as possible. Once again, I’m really grateful to have such a friend like Paula [Badosa],” she added.

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