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Paula Badosa unhappy with media unfairness on female players

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Paula Badosa
Paula Badosa. Photo by Sky Sports
  • Paula Badosa says the media is biased
  • She notes that criticism of female players isn’t the same as that of male players
  • The Spaniard treasures winning a Grand Slam than being world No. 1

Paula Badosa has opened up on media unfairness against female tennis players.

She hasn’t won any WTA single since January when she won the Sydney International (a WTA 500 event). Badosa crushed Jelena Ostapenko, Ajla Tomljanovic, Belinda Bencic, Daria Kasatkina, and Barbora Krejcikova.

Badosa has been able to hold onto third place in the standings, but she is clearly struggling to reach her best form. So far this season, she has lost in the fourth round of all four Grand Slam tournaments.

This loss comes with sustained criticism online some fueled by the press.  She spoke about the criticism she has received and the accompanying online threats in a recent interview with El Larguero, a Spanish radio sports program.

She feels the media is unfair because it is far more critical of female athletes than of male ones. This hit her hard and it ends up as a crisis of some sort.

Paula Badosa

Paula Badosa. Photo by Archy Sport

Badosa feels this criticism makes her work harder and it takes a toll on her mental health.

“Yes, it [criticism] came to me as a crisis. I’ve always been very demanding, but being very emotional and visceral has made it very difficult for me to deal with those things,” Badosa notes.

“I think that on the female side, it is more complicated because the critics say that you are unfocused. Or if you have some marketing agreement, they tell you that you do not perform in tennis. I don’t see that so much on the male side. And there is a part which is more tabloids than sports media. That’s why I’ve taken a step back with that,” she remarks.

However, she says that she doesn’t pay attention to the threats because she realized that those behind them are the problem. Press criticism and online attacks are not a new phenomenon.

Emma Raducanu, and Naomi Osaka are victims of it all owing to their mixed fortunes in tennis. So bad is it that Osaka battled depression and took a hiatus in 2021 to deal with her mental wellness.

Paula Badosa

Paula Badosa. Photo by The Hindu

Meanwhile, El Larguero questioned the world No. 3 if she would rather win a Grand Slam or be ranked No. 1. The Spanish player, who has not yet won a Major, went with the safe bet saying she is gunning for a major Grand Slam.

She likened the scenario to a situation where you choose which parent to love more. While there’s prestige to being world No.1, a Grand Slam is more prestigious.

Badosa feels being world No.1 is just a moment which comes and goes while a trophy lives on for a long time.

The Spaniard also discussed Carlos Alcaraz, a fellow countryman and the defending US Open winner in 2022. She didn’t just praise his tennis prowess; she also praised the new World No. 1 for his innate modesty.

She said that he delivered a great performance at the US Open, even down to the level of getting to the balls. One character Badosa admires in Alcaraz is his humility all through.

Teresa is a journalist with years of experience in creating web content. She is a wanderlust at heart, but an outgoing sports writer with focus on tennis, athletics, football, motorsports and NBA.

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