World No. 27 Paula Badosa spoke highly of former world No. 1 Angelique Kerber following their clash at the Indian Wells Masters.
Badosa, seeded at No. 21, beat No. 10 seed Kerber 6-4 7-5 to progress into the Indian Wells semifinal.
Badosa blew an early first-set break but broke Kerber in the 10th game to still win the opener.
Badosa was in full control of the match — she led 5-2 in the second set — but then she failed to convert a match point in the eighth game and Kerber ended up leveling the set at five games apiece.
However, Badosa kept her focus as she broke Kerber in the 12th game to seal the win.
“She’s a really tough player,” Badosa said, per the WTA website. “She’s really tricky. Of course I’ve seen her a lot, but on court she’s really tricky, she opens the court a lot. Sometimes she plays short balls but then very long ones. She plays very tactically.
“At the beginning it was strange for me. She runs a lot. She sees all the balls where you’re going to hit. It’s quite tough for me at the beginning and at the end as well. It was a really, really tough one.”
Badosa plays Ons Jabeur next
Badosa joked Jabeur would hopefully eat a lot of burgers and then be unable to play their semifinal match.
“I hope tonight she eats a lot of burgers and she cannot play,” Badosa said, laughing. “We were just talking now. It’s really fun to play against her. We’re really good friends again so I’m playing another friend. It’s going to be a tough one.”
“I always said she’s one of the most talented players in the world. She’s doing an amazing year. It’s nice seeing all these players that we were like a few years ago outside the Top 100 now being Top 10, Top 20, fighting for the finals. It’s amazing. I’m super happy and I’m happy that I can play her.”