DUBAI: On the eve of the Dubai Duty Absolutely free Tennis Championships, the major four women’s seeds sat down with the media at the Jumeirah Creekside lodge to explore their preparations for the tournament, replicate on their former experiences in the emirate and share some of their off-court docket passions and pursuits.
Two of the prime 4 seeds in Dubai hail from Spain with defending winner Garbine Muguruza at No.4 and Paula Badosa at No.3.
Muguruza, a former world No.1 and a two-time Grand Slam champion, has been at the forefront of Spanish tennis on the women’s tour for quite a few many years now.
The 28-year-outdated has attained key finals on all 3 surfaces, gained the French Open in 2016, Wimbledon in 2017, and was Australian Open runner-up in 2020.
At the moment rated No.6 in the world, Muguruza has welcomed the rise of her compatriot Badosa, who has arrived at a profession-higher No.5 previous Monday, to become just the fourth Spanish lady to crack the prime 5 in the standings.
“I experience like it is fantastic. She’s so proficient. Now I think she place the puzzle with each other, definitely jumped from a person yr to a different. She usually had that tennis in her, it just took her time,” Muguruza mentioned on Sunday of Badosa, who is four yrs her junior.
“It’s fantastic to have her and to see her all around. She’s very good competitors also. I seem forward to sharing far more experiences with her, struggling with her.”
Muguruza and Badosa faced off in the semi-finals of the period-ending championships in Guadalajara last November, with the former sooner or later landing the title.
With former major-10 participant Carla Suarez Navarro retiring from tennis very last season, Muguruza is happy she has Spanish firm at the leading.
“Having another person in the tour also from the very same region. I also miss Carla a lot now that she’s gone. Now Paula came to the video game. It’s usually fantastic,” Muguruza added.
“Spain is a region of tennis. I come to feel like now it is very equivalent, suitable? I believe men’s had been dominating for a even though, then women of all ages. Now I truly feel like both of those (are on stage phrases).”
Like mom, like daughter
With her profile continuing to increase many thanks to her superb benefits in excess of the previous yr, Badosa’s off-courtroom commitments have increased and so have her media appearances.
The 24-year-aged Catalonian was born in New York to Spanish parents who both of those labored as types in the style sector. Her boyfriend, Juan Betancourt is also a model/actor, which signifies Badosa has lots of individuals about her who can give her modeling ideas throughout photoshoots for sponsors or magazine covers.
It turns out she does not truly want the suggestions as Badosa disclosed she enjoys that part of her work and seems to be a purely natural at it.
“I have to be honest. Of course, my precedence is tennis and I like to enjoy tennis. But I like these type of matters due to the fact I grew up with it,” she said.
“I do it by yourself for the minute. I don’t want tips. But, yeah, I get pleasure from it as well. Occasionally it is a minor bit tense since you do not have time for all the things. But I try to schedule my day fairly Alright. So for the moment it’s nice and I appreciate it.
“I did ‘Elle’ and ‘Vogue’ this yr. Some Spanish publications that are significant. It was extremely thrilling for me. We utilized to buy these form of journals at house for my mom and every thing. Now I’m executing the photoshoot for them. It’s amazing.”
Everyone loves Paula
If there’s 1 participant that busts the fantasy that there is no home for friendship in the WTA locker space, it has acquired to be Badosa.
The Spaniard is constantly one of the 1st names to pop up when a participant is requested who they contemplate to be a friend on tour and it’s a little something she is specifically proud of.
“That’s incredibly pleasant to hear. For me it’s the identical. I definitely believe like that. I imply, this thirty day period that I haven’t performed, these previous 20 times, I have been in contact with a large amount of gamers. It’s incredibly awesome to see,” stated Badosa.
“I feel now players know how to separate matters. You can compete on court docket, but you can have a excellent romance. Just after all, you invest a large amount of hrs viewing just about every other in the course of the calendar year, so I believe it’s much easier and the electrical power is superior.
“A couple of years ago, of training course, it was considerably distinct. I actually never know why. Possibly they preferred to start the match in the locker space. It doesn’t make a ton of feeling in my viewpoint. But I believe luckily which is shifting.”
Krejcikova not quick on commitment
When Barbora Krejcikova achieved the closing in Dubai previous year, she was ranked 63 in the world and was venturing into unfamiliar territory.
Though she was by now an achieved doubles participant with big titles beneath her belt alongside her very long-time companion Katerina Siniakova, Krejcikova hadn’t nevertheless verified herself in the exact same way on the singles courtroom.
In Dubai while, the Czech stormed through the draw to make the most significant final of her profession and she rode that wave of achievement by way of the spring as she captured her 1st Grand Slam singles crown at Roland Garros in June.
Krejcikova returns to Dubai this week as the No.2 seed and will open her campaign versus French wildcard Caroline Garcia on Monday.
With many huge items crossed off her bucket listing presently, the 26-year-aged Krejcikova was questioned how she stays motivated 7 days in, week out, through the period.
“There are continue to a lot of tournaments that I haven’t received nonetheless,” replied Krejcikova.
“There are nevertheless a ton of players that are in advance of me right now. It is just a great deal of motivation. I see other gamers are doing nicely, they are improving upon just about every solitary working day. I want to boost with them and I want to get much better than them. That is the most significant drive. I really do not really have absence of inspiration right now.”
Sabalenka hunting for answers
Top-seeded Aryna Sabalenka took a considerably-essential crack after her vacation to Australia final month, when she struggled with her serve.
She spent some time with family members, hit the reset button and acquired again to operate, opting out of competing in St. Petersburg this week so she could start the Center East swing refreshed and all set to go.
Although the Belarusian isn’t confident she has put her serving woes driving her, she is distinct on what she hopes to accomplish for the duration of this upcoming period of time.
“After the commencing of the time I would say that the goal is to find the regularity in my game, just locate the rhythm back again. I really don’t know, proper now every single match for me is a fight. Rough to say,” explained the 23-12 months-outdated.