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At the altitude of Guadalajara, tennis was also high. And that of Paula Badosa rose especially, who touched by a magic wand after her title in Indian Wells, defeated Maria Sakkari 7-6 (4) and 6-4 in 2h: 06 to practically get into the semifinals of the WTA Finals, with two victories. In his first participation. An anticipated birthday gift, because on Monday she will turn 24 years old installed in the top-ten. It will be in the semifinals if in the next match Aryna Sabalenka wins (it will be first) or Iga Swiatek does it in three sets.

Badosa arrived with the inertia of the ten games in a row that she endorsed the world number two, Aryna Sabalenka, in her debut in the women’s Masters. So, after having two break balls that he could not convert in the fourth game, achieved the break for 4-2. But Sakkari, a tennis player with eight wins over top-ten this year, he forced his explosive engine to endorse him three games in a row, equal five and take the sleeve to the tiebreaker. After the slump, the brave and brave Badosa reappeared.

With a cross drive, he buttoned his sleeve and put his forefinger to his temple as he looked at his team. That head that three years ago almost forced him to quit tennis, between anxiety problems, it is now his best weapon. He finished the set with 77% of points won with first service and a greater control of risk (17 unforced errors compared to 26 for the Greek). And, most importantly, with confidence in victory.

Sakkari, a semi-finalist this year at Roland Garros and the US Open at 26 and sixth in the world, is a warrior. And at no time did he lower his arms. Mas Badosa accepted the challenge of his angled and powerful shots, he was much more consistent and was already placed with a break (2-1) at the beginning of the second heat. She had six more break balls in the fifth game, but the Athenian scrambled like a cat to neutralize them. Again a slight downturn from the Spanish made Sakkari equalize (4-4), but Badosa immediately roared. And cold as an iceberg but with fire on his racket he managed a counterbreak for 5-4 and served. He still had to suffer after missing two match balls. But the third was the good one. Many caroms should be given so that it is not in the semifinals, in the absence of knowing if first or second in the group. And every day it aims higher. “I have suffered and enjoyed at the same time,” he summarized at the end. But with a head.