Paula Badosa gears up for comeback in Australia after prolonged injury struggle; practices in Adelaide ahead of the WTA 500 event

Paula Badosa practices in Adelaide
Paula Badosa practices in Adelaide

Paula Badosa is looking to make her comeback on the WTA tour, and her first stop could be the WTA 500 tournament in Adelaide, Australia, set to be held from January 8 to 13.

Injuries derailed Paula Badosa's 2023 season. She suffered a stress fracture in her spine while playing in the quarterfinals of the 2023 Italian Open in May. This forced her to miss the rest of the claycourt season, including the French Open. She returned to action at the Wimbledon Championships in July but retired mid-match during her second-round contest against Marta Kostyuk.

The 26-year-old subsequently signed up and withdrew from the Canadian Open and US Open, making her appearance at the Wimbledon Championships her last involvement on the 2023 WTA tour. Six months on, the World No. 68 is seemingly ready to return to the tour at the Adelaide International.

Badosa has reached Adelaide and recently shared an image from one of her practice sessions. She captioned the Instagram story:

"Down under 🦘."
Screengrab from Instagram
Screengrab from Instagram

Badosa is currently placed fifth in the main-draw alternates list at the Adelaide International with a special ranking of 34. Jasmine Paolini, Lesia Tsurenko, Angelique Kerber, and Sofia Kenin are placed ahead of her.

The Adelaide International will be the last warmup tournament before the Australian Open. Elena Rybakina, Jessica Pegula, Marketa Vondrousova, and Barbora Krejcikova are the top four seeds.

Stefanos Tsitsipas urges Greeks in Australia to support Paula Badosa

Paula Badosa
Paula Badosa

Stefanos Tsitsipas and Paula Badosa have been the most high-profile couple in the tennis world in recent times and have not shied away from professing their affection for each other. They went into a relationship last year and have been spotted supporting each other at various tournaments.

Stefanos Tsitsipas, currently representing Greece at the United Cup, recently spoke about his relationship with Badosa with publication 2GB. During the interview, he called himself Badosa's No. 1 fan and said that the Spaniard is his top supporter as well.

"She [Paula Badosa] has been a very important part of my year and one that has brought me a lot of joy, a lot of confidence in my everyday life. She is a great support, Paula. I've built a very good relationship with her, which is extremely important and she is my No. 1 fan and I am her No. 1 fan. We carry each other," Tsitsipas said.

The Greek No. 1 went on to urge the Greek community in Australia to come out and support Badosa when she eventually takes the court after her lengthy injury hiatus.

"I would like to see the Greek people support her. There isn't such big of a Spanish community in Australia, so if you guys see Paula, just make sure you support her and give her the same love and encouragement that you have been giving to me," Tsitsipas continued.