No. 2 seed Paula Badosa just narrowly avoided a shock loss in her San Jose opener and afterward claimed 240th-ranked qualifier Elizabeth Mandlik played “unbelievable.”
After a first round bye, Badosa kicked off her San Jose campaign with a 6-2 5-7 7-6 (5) win over American qualifier Mandlik.
“I think sometimes it’s a little bit confusing when you play against a player with her ranking because sometimes you don’t expect that kind of score and you think you’re not doing things well,” Badosa said, per the WTA website. “But to be honest, I think I played pretty good and she only played unbelievable and I have to accept it.”
Badosa was twice on the verge of a defeat
In the third set, Mandlik had a 5-3 lead before she failed to serve out for the match in the 10th game.
After failing to serve out for the match, Mandlik broke Badosa once again in the 11th game to open a 6-5 lead and give herself another chance to serve out for the match.
But Badosa once again didn’t allow Mandlik to serve out for the match as she broke back the American to force a tie-break.
In the tie-break, Badosa realized her second match point to earn a hard-fought three-set win.
Meanwhile, third-seeded Ons Jabeur avoided drama as she needed just two sets to beat Madison Keys 7-5 6-1.
“I’m grateful that I played at night because it’s slower and it helps me a little bit with the conditions,” Jabeur said after the win. “I know she plays the ball fast. But huge respect for her. She’s a great player. I knew it was going to be a tough match for me. I just tried to stay low and hit the ball as much as I can. Make her play another ball and in the end I was feeling much better.”
Badosa plays next the winner of the match between Naomi Osaka and Cori Gauff, while Jabeur plays next either Veronika Kudermetova or Clara Liu.