Paula Badosa Matches Serena Williams and Bianca Andreescu’s Feat After Indian Wells 2021 Victory

Published 10/17/2021, 11:14 PM EDT
Oct 17, 2021; Indian Wells, CA, USA; Paula Badosa (ESP) reacts after winning a point as she defeated Victoria Azarenka (BLR) in the womenÕs final of the BNP Paribas Open at the Indian Wells Tennis Garden. Mandatory Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports


Two weeks ago, Spaniard Paula Badosa might only be excited to make her tournament main draw debut in Indian Wells. Little did she know, the famed debutant would go to defeat two-time champion Victoria Azarenka and lift the BNP Paribas Open title. Notably, en route to tasting glory, the 23-year-old has joined Bianca Andreescu and Serena Williams in a unique feat.

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With that dream run, Badosa is now the first-ever Spanish player to win the women’s singles title in the desert. However, it is not the first time a professional has won the trophy on their tournament main draw debut.

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Astonishingly, Canadian international Bianca Andreescu had also lifted the Indian Wells trophy on her main draw debut in 2019. Before that, it was the 23-time Grand Slam champion Serena Williams who did the same in 1999.

Now, Badosa is the third person joining that list. She overcame Azarenka in a three-hour-long three-set thriller 7-6(5), 2-6, 7-6(2).

Paula Badosa thanks Victoria Azarenka for inspiring her

Indeed, the 23-year-old Paula Badosa had two exceptional weeks in the desert. Remarkably, she outclassed Dayana Yastremska, Coco Gauff, Barbora Krejcikova, Angelique Kerber, Ons Jabeur, and lastly, Victoria Azarenka to win her first WTA 1000 title (second overall).

Oct 17, 2021; Indian Wells, CA, USA; Paula Badosa (ESP) reacts after winning a point as she defeated Victoria Azarenka (BLR) in the womenÕs final of the BNP Paribas Open at the Indian Wells Tennis Garden. Mandatory Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

For her success, the Spaniard credited her 32-year-old fellow finalist. Badosa told Azarenka, “I remember when I was 14-15 years old and seeing you win Grand Slams. And I remember telling my coach, ‘I hope one day I can play like her.’ So for me, it’s amazing. Thank you for inspiring me so much. And athletes like you, and women like you, I wouldn’t be here without you.”

In response, the two-time Australian Open champion said, “It’s great to inspire people. It’s one of the reasons why I still play tennis.” 

Badosa eyes WTA Finals qualification

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Courtesy of her Indian Wells success, Badosa has jumped to secure the 8th position in the WTA Finals Singles Race. However, the competition for her is still tight.

Oct 17, 2021; Indian Wells, CA, USA; Paula Badosa (ESP) serves as she defeated Victoria Azarenka (BLR) in the womenÕs final of the BNP Paribas Open at the Indian Wells Tennis Garden. Mandatory Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

Hopefully, the Spaniard will return on the Tour soon and continue adding more wins to her tally. Without a doubt, she would aim to compete in the year-ending championships in Mexico.

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Do you think Badosa will make it into the Top 8 of the 2021 season?

Watch this story: When Dominic Thiem Had to Leave Press Conference for Serena Williams

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Purav Joshi

1357 articles

Purav Joshi is a Senior Tennis author at EssentiallySports. Having a degree in Films, Television and Media Production, he guided his passion for writing and journalism into the sport of aces and rallies. With over 2 years of experience as a copywriter, Purav has authored over 1000 tennis articles.

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