“Took it in My Stride”: Paula Badosa Opens Up Again on Being Compared to Maria Sharapova

Published 05/22/2021, 9:21 AM EDT
KEY BISCAYNE, FL – MARCH 28: Maria Sharapova of Russia celebrates after she won her match against Samantha Stosur of Australia during the Sony Ericsson Open at Crandon Park Tennis Center on March 28, 2011 in Key Biscayne, Florida. (Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)


Spanish tennis starlet Paula Badosa has opened up yet again on being compared to former Russian superstar Maria Sharapova.

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Currently ranked 44th in singles, Badosa has been on a dream run on clay this year, making two semi-final appearances at Charleston and Madrid.

Paula Badosa has similar mannerisms as Maria Sharapova

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Badosa, who took down current women’s World No.1 Ashleigh Barty in the quarter-finals at Charleston, has drawn comparisons with Sharapova because of similar mannerisms on court. Her manner of celebrating her points has also been deemed to have an uncanny resemblance to that of the five-time Grand Slam champion.

The Spaniard has already found many admirers with her big serve and heavy groundstrokes and has revealed that she grew up watching Sharapova. It turns that she embraced tennis as a profession after watching and admiring her childhood idol in action.

Speaking on inviting constant parallels with the former champion during a virtual with rolandgarros.com, Badosa said she has learned to live with it.

The 23-year-old said that it was especially tough in her younger years in the game as she had to deal with the “pressure and the expectations” that came with being compared to Sharapova but has now gotten more used to it.

Tennis – WTA Masters 1000 – Madrid Open – Caja Magica, Madrid, Spain – May 3, 2021, Spain’s Paula Badosa in action during her round of 16 match against Latvia’s Anastasija Sevastova REUTERS/Sergio Perez

“I took it in my stride. Maybe at the time when I was younger, I found it harder because of the pressure and expectations that come with comparing yourself to a great player,” Badosa said.

Badosa is in sight of her maiden title in Serbia

Badosa added that living up to the tag of being the next Sharapova is “hard” as the Russian was a one-of-a-kind champion who stayed at the top of her game for a number of years. However, the Spaniard said she takes the comparisons positively and uses it as a source of motivation to get better at her sport.

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“It’s very motivating for me that people compare me to a player like that who happens to be my idol. I think it’s a good comparison,” Badosa said.

DIVE DEEPER

“Wish I Could Be as Amazing As Her”: Paula Badosa on Comparison to Maria Sharapova

about 2 months ago

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Still searching for her maiden Tour title, the 23-year-old has reached her first final following a brutal takedown of Russian Veronika Kudermetova in the ongoing clay court event in Serbia.

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Priyabrata Chowdhury

1010 articles

Priyabrata Chowdhury is a tennis author for EssentiallySports. He has been a print journalist for a decade, producing news pages for leading national dailies such as the Hindustan Times and The New Indian Express. His passion for sports eventually drove him to tennis writing.

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