Paula Badosa makes retirement admission after emotional Wimbledon victory

Shahida Jacobs
Paula Badosa press conference
Paula Badosa talks to the media

Paula Badosa has revealed that she was advised to consider retirement due to her back injury, but admits in her heart was “going to continue no matter what”.

Following the highs of 2022 where she reached a career-best of No 2 in the WTA Rankings, Badosa endured a nightmare 2023 season as she struggled with several injuries – including a career-threatening back injury.

She missed the Australian Open and French Open last year and made her return at Wimbledon, reaching the second round before her back injury forced her to retire midway during her match.

The Spaniard was then forced to skip the US Open and slipped out of the top 50. After a stuttering start to 2024, she slumped out of the top 100 but she has been on the up in recent weeks.

Badosa continued her fine form on Friday at Wimbledon as she reached the second week with an impressive battling 7-6 (6), 4-6, 6-4 win over 14th seed Daria Kasatkina.

There was an outpouring of emotion after the match and she explained: “It’s not my first time in a second week, but I think it’s the most special one. I’m really proud of myself after all. I’ve been struggling a lot with injuries, and it’s been now a long time that I wasn’t in a second week.”

“For me, it meant so much. And also after the match that I played, that I think it was very, very mental, and it was very tough for me.”

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Badosa says her back injury was so serious that doctors told her she might not be able to play again.

“I mean, last year here I had to retire. Then it took me 10 months. I was on the couch and watching the tournaments from home,” the Spaniard said.

“Also this year when I started the year, I didn’t know what was going to happen. Like, the doctors were telling me I couldn’t maybe continue.

“For me, I’ve always been very tough mentally and a fighter, so I was going to do it anyway. So for me, I’m very proud that I’ve been through all of this. And now that I’m again in the fourth round and playing good level again, because sometimes also when I came back at the beginning of the year and struggling so much, my level wasn’t there. I feel myself so far away. Now seeing myself back at it, it means a lot.”

The 26-year-old, though, didn’t really believe it was time to hang up her racket.

“Look, at the end of the bottom of my heart, I wasn’t accepting it. I was, like, I’m going to continue no matter what. I think that’s also what made me the player I am, that I always want more, and I’m always going to fight even how difficult is that moment, you know,” she said.

“Of course, there are some moments that there’s pain, and you don’t really know what to do and you a feel a little bit lost. But I didn’t care. I remember telling to my team that I was going to play with pain (laughing).

“At the end we’re managing it really well, so I’m really happy with that. And I think I have a great people by my side and very professional. They’re helping me daily.”