ROME, Italy—Paula Badosa sent shockwaves through the tennis world when she announced Sunday that she and Stefanos Tsitsipas had split up after a year of dating.

“Tsitsidosa,” as we knew it, was over.

Badosa spoke more about the breakup, which occurred following a first-round loss Mutua Madrid Open, in the aftermath of a winning return to the Internazionali BNL d’Italia.

“Emotionally, it hasn’t been easy these past days, but I’m a strong person, so I’m trying to deal with everything as much as I can,” she told me about an hour removed from defeating 17-year-old Mirra Andreeva, 6-2, 6-3 on Campo Centrale. “I’m quite proud of myself, with how I’m doing.”

The former world No. 2 had enjoyed a whirlwind courtship with Tsitsipas, a former world No. 3, since revealing their relationship via a joint Spotify account during 2023 Roland Garros. A joint Instagram and couple name followed and soon Tsitsidosa were everywhere: watching each others’ matches and posing for high-fashion photos shot by Radka Leitmeritz.

“When we were great, the relationship was great,” she reflected. “Other times, we have our own careers, our own things, and sometimes it’s better to separate ways.

“This reminds me a lot of the story of Maria [Sharapova] and Grigor [Dimitrov], where you meet the right person but maybe in the wrong moment. It’s a little bit like this.”


The pair most recently took the court for a mixed doubles exhibition during the BNP Paribas Open. Tsitsipas later spoke about trying to support Badosa through what has been an injury-addled year for the Spaniard, who has been snake-bitten by a persistent back issue that she revealed required a cortisone injection.

“I'm trying to find the right words and the right things to say,” he said back in March. “Obviously when it started in the beginning, you have a lot of faith in it and you're, like, ‘Okay, you just need to stay committed in the process of healing and getting better.’ But after a while, there aren't many things you can say, because you are confused yourself with what's happening with the body.

“I'm just there as much as I can to keep making her feel good that at least we are together and we're trying to find solution together.”

Badosa announced the split on social media, explaining “It’s not easy when we started a relationship being so public. It’s like you have to finish it the same way.

“We have a great relationship between us. He’s a great guy and I wish him the best. I know that it’s the same on his side. I have so much support from everyone: my family, my team, my friends. I even feel support from his team and his family. They’ve all been very supportive of both of us. In the end, it was nothing bad that happened. It’s just life.

“I know we’ll keep seeing each other on tour, and you never know what will happen in the future.”

On the tennis front, Badosa was feeling cautiously optimistic and pain-free in the two months since undergoing her first cortisone injection. An unrelated and unlucky injury caused her to retire from a high-quality match against Aryna Sabalenka at the Porsche Tennis Grand Prix, but the 2021 Roland Garros quarterfinalist looked stronger than yesterday against Andreeva. She won the first four games and weathered a brief rain delay to defeat the talented teenager who had just reached the quarterfinals in Madrid.

“It really is a rollercoaster, and you wake up every day not knowing what is going to happen,” she confessed. “Emotionally, there have been ups and downs and it’s been tough for me lately. For the moment, it’s responding well. I have the best team next to me, monitoring it every day. I think I’m pretty sure that it’ll be ok.”

Badosa will next face No. 21 seed Emma Navarro in the second round.