Paula Badosa capped off her stellar 2021 season with another big win, after being honored in Madrid at the AS Sports Awards gala on Tuesday night.

The 24-year-old received one of the biggest awards of the night as she took home the AS Sports Award, a prize which recognizes Spain’s most outstanding and inspirational sportspersons of the year.

It was an emotional moment for Badosa, who previously received the AS Sporting Promise Award in 2015 after winning the Roland Garros girls’ title.

“For me today is very special. I was here about six years ago when I received the Sporting Promise Award, and my words back then were, ‘I hope one day I will come back and make this into a reality.’ To be here six years later is the product of a lot of hard work and of dreams coming true,” she said.

“If you enjoy the journey and you fight and you believe in yourself, it will come true.”


The Spaniard sits at World No. 8 after winning two titles throughout a rollercoaster season. Ranked No. 70 at the start of the year, Badosa’s 2021 famously began with a tough battle against COVID-19 in Australia. But the 24-year-old shook off the hardships and got to work, amassing victories over World No. 1 Ashleigh Barty and World No. 2 Aryna Sabalenka. She ended the year with a head-turning run to a WTA 1000 title in Indian Wells and made her WTA Finals debut.

Badosa was not the only tennis player honored at the gala, with countryman Carlos Alcaraz taking home the AS Sporting Promise Award. The 18-year-old finished the year ranked No. 32 in the world and with three Top 10 victories to his name.

Novak Djokovic also received an AS Sports Award after winning three Grand Slam titles and setting new records for weeks at World No. 1. The Serbian was not in attendance at the gala in Madrid, and received his award during the Davis Cup Finals.