Aryna Sabalenka said her mindset was to fight and at least try to give herself a shot at making a comeback against Paula Badosa. In the Stuttgart quarterfinal, Sabalenka found herself in a very tough position as Badosa had a 6-4 4-2 lead.
Just when it seemed Badosa would clinch a straight-set win, second-seeded Sabalenka recovered to win 4-6 6-4 6-4. “I was just talking to myself and saying, OK, just try one more time, just try to put the ball back, and then run and move and try to win this game and probably you can win this set.
Then who knows what’s gonna happen in the third set? Definitely that game was the key game,” Sabalenka said, per the WTA website.
How Sabalenka recovered to beat Badosa?
Badosa made a good start to the match, earning the first break in the third game.
In the 10th game – when Badosa was serving for the first set – the Spaniard saved three break points before converting her first set point to seal the opener. After winning the first set, Badosa also broke Sabalenka in the first game of the second set.
In the sixth game, Sabalenka missed out on a break point as Badosa took a 4-2 lead. After blowing her first four break points of the match, Sabalenka finally managed to break Badosa in the eighth game of the second set and tie the set to four games apiece.
In the 10th game – when Badosa was serving to stay in the second set – Sabalenka broke the Spaniard again to send the match into a third set. Sabalenka then continued her run at the start of the third set, taking an early 3-0 lead.
In the rest of the set, Sabalenka was twice up by a break but Badosa twice recovered. After the first nine games of the third set, Sabalenka had a 5-4 lead but Badosa was serving. In the 10th game of the third set – when Badosa was serving to stay in the match – Sabalenka earned her third break of the set to complete a three-set win.