"I love Paula Badosa so much" - Aryna Sabalenka concurs with Spaniard's claim that she watches her WTA matches besides men's tennis

Aryna Sabalenka (L), Paula Badosa (R) (Image Source: Getty)
Aryna Sabalenka (L), Paula Badosa (R) (Image Source: Getty)

Aryna Sabalenka recently concured with her best friend Paula Badosa’s claim that she watches her matches besides watching men’s tennis. The Belarusian's hilarious admission comes weeks after she found herself in hot water over her controversial remark on WTA tennis.

In April this year, Sabalenka said that she prefers watching men’s tennis over women’s. She reasoned that men’s tennis has “more logic” and is interesting to watch. The World No. 2's statement did not sit well with the tennis community, and she later issued clarification.

Paula Badosa, who is competing at the 2024 French Open, gave her take on Aryna Sabalenka’s controversial comments following her opening-round win against Katie Boulter. She vouched for her close friend’s admiration for women’s tennis in hilarious fashion.

"I think she does watch women’s tennis because I’m pretty sure she watches me. She better. If not, (we’re going to) have problems," she joked in her post-match press conference (translated from Spanish).

Meanwhile, when Sabalenka was asked if she has been watching tennis lately, she said:

"Obviously, I watched (Rafael Nadal) and (Alexander Zverev) match. I watched (Carlos Alcaraz) yesterday. So I still watch some tennis; some great matches," Aryna Sabalenka said in her post-match press conference after her second-round win at the French Open.

She added:

"And just like Paula told to the media, I watch her a lot," the World No. 2 said, laughing. "I really do. That wasn’t a joke."

The two-time Australian Open champion elaborated on her fondness for the former World No. 2.

"She’s my favorite. I love her so much. I love to see her play. And she’s a really great fighter. So it’s always great matches," she added.

Aryna Sabalenka on facing Paula Badosa in French Open 3R: "We know how to separate court and life"

Paula Badosa (L) and Aryna Sabalenka pictured at the 2024 BNP Paribas Open in Indian Wells
Paula Badosa (L) and Aryna Sabalenka pictured at the 2024 BNP Paribas Open in Indian Wells

Aryna Sabalenka and Paula Badosa, through to the third round of the 2024 French Open, are now set to lock horns for a place in the last 16.

This will be their seventh career meeting, and their third this year alone. The duo’s most recent battles were in the 2024 Miami Open and the Porsche Tennis Grand Prix in Stuttgart. Both matches were won by Sabalenka – she won in Miami in straight sets and she was granted the Stuttgart win through Badosa’s retirement in the final set.

Ahead of their match, Aryna Sabalenka, who leads in their head-to-head 4-2, acknowledged their off-court camaraderie and their rivalry.

"It’s always tough to play your friend – your best friend on tour I would say. It’s always tough but we know how to manage that. We know how to separate court and life," she said in the aforementioned press conference.
"So it’s always great battles, great fights against her, and I also enjoy playing against her. So we’re good to separate things."

Quick Links

App download animated image Get the free App now