WATCH: Badosa extended her winning streak to seven straight matches on Wednesday.

Paula Badosa’s last visit to Australia was nothing short of a nightmare, one flanked by four windowless walls.

Four sets into her 2022 Australian Open campaign and it’s happy case of New Year, New Me from the Spanish sensation.

Handcuffed by an endless quarantine exacerbated by an ill-timed COVID-19 diagnosis, Badosa played just one match Down Under in 2021. Now up to a career-high of No. 6 after a stunning season and WTA Finals berth, Badosa is in the midst of a spectacular victory lap that extends into the Australian Open third round.

Seeded No. 8, she has won seven matches in the last 10 days—five of which combined for a third career title in Sydney—and dropped back-to-back bagel sets on Ajla Tomljanovic and Martina Trevisan before overcoming the latter, 6-0, 6-3, on Wednesday.

Suffice to say the 24-year-old wears fatigue well.

“For the moment I can't complain,” she said in post-match press. “It's going quite well on that. I have that day off. If I have to be honest, on that day off I'm not doing anything. I'm touching the racquet 10 minutes per day. It's how I have to do it because I was quite tired.

“But the matches are going quite well on my way, quite fast.”

Badosa has spent a combined two hours and 33 minutes through two matches, and is playing decidedly sharp tennis to maintain such a brisk pace. Against Trevisan, she dropped just eight points on serve and struck 12 winners while drawing 29 errors from her Italian opponent.


Everything is rolling. I'm enjoying day by day. I know I'm going to have tough matches here. It's never easy playing as a favorite as well, so it's a new experience for me. Paula Badosa

A player once overwhelmed by pressure to match her junior potential, she reveled in her “official” Rod Laver Arena debut, ingratiating the crowd with compliments towards top seed Ashleigh Barty during her on-court interview.

“Playing center court, because of me, not because I'm playing a seeded player, but because now I'm the seeded player, I'm really happy and proud of myself.

“I'm really doing an amazing job with my team,” she added later. “Everything is rolling. I'm enjoying day by day. I know I'm going to have tough matches here. It's never easy playing as a favorite as well, so it's a new experience for me.”

Among her new experiences was the opportunity to play doubles with idol Victoria Azarenka at the start of the season, just four months after the two faced off in a classic BNP Paribas Open final.

“It's very nice to have a good relationship with, like, a legend, a player like her,” Badosa beamed. “I try to listen everything she says because, of course, I wish one day I could be as much as good as her. It's very nice.”

Badosa is happy to count the two-time Australian Open champion among her long list of tour friends that includes Trevisan, Sydney runner-up Barbora Krejcikova, and both of her potential third-round opponents: Marta Kostyuk and countrywoman Sara Sorribes Tormo.

“I have a very good relationship with a lot of players. I don't know, maybe it's something on myself. I just try to be quite normal, to be a nice person to everyone.

“Of course, I'm very competitive and on court I don't have friends,” she clarified. “After all, I know how to separate things.”


Kostyuk, who ultimately overcame Sorribes Tormo in straight sets, won the junior Australian Open at 14 and reached the third round of the women’s even the following year. The introspective Ukrainian was initially paired as Badosa’s quarantine practice partner before both were thrown into hard quarantine.

“When they ask me who can be the next star, I always say Marta,” Badosa said. “She has a lot of potential. She's always a dangerous player. I will have to play my best because I know she likes these kind of matches and she will play her best next day.”

A potential nightmare is instead another dream scenario for Badosa, who has grown equally accustomed to big matches and with everything else that comes with the “Next Maria Sharapova” label she once resented. That includes forays in front of the camera, an unsurprisingly natural fit for the daughter of two models.

“I try to find my own identity,” she said when asked whether her parents or boyfriend Juan Betancourt have given posing advice. “Of course, I have a lot of people related to fashion. I have my own style. I try to be myself there.

“I will have time to ask them for tips; for the moment they say I do it pretty well, so it's okay.”