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Three out of three for new Sydney champion Paula Badosa

It was a truly magnificent final at the Sydney Tennis Classic, with the Spaniard coming out on top

Paula Badosa, Sydney 2022 SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA – JANUARY 15: Paula Badosa of Spain holds up the winners trophy at the Sydney Classic Tennis women’s singles final between Barbora Krejcikova of the Czech Republic and Paula Badosa of Spain at Ken Rosewall Arena on January 15, 2022 in Sydney, Australia. || 217998_0049

Sydney Tennis Classic | Draw

Paula Badosa continued her unblemished streak in WTA finals – making it three out of three as she beat Barbora Krejcikova in a superb Sydney Tennis Classic final that ended in a tiebreak in the third, 6-3, 4-6, 7-6(4).

It was a stark contrast for the world No 9 from her fortunes last week in Adelaide – when she lost in the first round in straight sets to Victoria Azarenka, with whom she promptly teamed up to play doubles, and reached the semi-finals. It clearly did her some good – in Sydney she dropped two sets across five matches to win the third title of her career after Belgrade and Indian Wells.

It was also her third career win over Krejcikova – maintaining her 100 percent record – but Badosa was loath to attribute her success to anything in particular.

“I don’t know if it’s something special,” she said in her press conference afterwards. “I just try to play my game. I try to be aggressive.

“She’s a very aggressive player as well. She opens very well the court, very talented. I tried to stick there, I tried to serve well, I tried to take my opportunities. Well, for the moment, the head-to-head is 3-0, but with her you never know and it’s always going to be a tough match. She’s an amazing player.”

Badosa rising to new career high

The 24-year-old got the early break to take a 2-0 lead in the first set, but Krejcikova was not to be discounted, putting up a real battle, just as she had done in her semi-final epic against Anett Kontaveit, which also went to a third-set tiebreak.

The Czech ultimately made too many errors (48 in the whole match) with her opponent holding her nerve to take the title – dropping to the floor after winning match point. The pair embraced fondly at the net before Badosa began her celebrations with her team.

“I really like when people are very good players and they are very humble and they’re normal,” explained Badosa afterwards. “I always said, when I played against her in Indian Wells, she’s one of my favorite players. She’s very, very talented and it’s very beautiful to see her play.

“At the net, she said that I played [an] amazing match. She played a high level as well. We gave everything there. We wished each other the best for the season and next week.”

She will also have something to celebrate on Monday when the latest WTA rankings are released – she is expected to be confirmed as the new world No 6, a career high for her.

All in all, it has been a very good week for Badosa ahead of her fourth Australian Open, where she will face Ajla Tomljanovic in the first round.

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