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Back Injury Knocks Badosa out of Wimbledon

Paula Badosa of Spain reacts during her match against Marta Kostyuk of Ukraine in the Women’s Singles second round match during day five of The Championships Wimbledon 2023 at All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club on July 7, 2023 in London, England. Photo by Daniel Kopatsch/Getty Images

A recurring back injury prompted Paula Badosa to pull the plug on Wimbledon. 

The 25-year-old Spaniard retired from her second-round singles match after just 36 minutes of play while trailing Ukrainian Marta Kostyuk 6-2, 1-0.

Afterward, Badosa said she’s withdrawn from mixed doubles. Badosa was set to partner boyfriend Stefanos Tsitsipas in their first major mixed doubles event as a couple.

The 19th-seeded Azarenka breezed through eight straight games dismissing Nadia Podoroska 6-3, 6-0 to advance to the Wimbledon third round.

“No, no, I won’t be able [to play mixed doubles],” Badosa said. “The injury is the same as I have been struggling the past weeks. It’s the stress fracture.

“I tried my best to try to play here, but yesterday when I woke up I already, after my first-round match, felt it again. It’s a little bit worse. So I will need a few days off and talk to my team and see what I do in the next days and the next weeks.”

It’s been an injury-plagued season for Badosa, who withdrew from the Australian Open with a thigh injury and pulled out of Roland Garros after being diagnosed with the stress fracture in her back she suffered in Rome.

The former Indian Wells champion said she felt “okay” after her opening-round Wimbledon win, but when she woke up today her back felt much worse. 

“First match I was pretty happy because I felt okay,” Badosa said. “After the match I spoke with my team, and I was, like, it wasn’t very bad. But yesterday, as I said when I woke up, I was worse.

“Today was worse. I wanted to give it a try in the match, but I think the smartest thing was to stop.”

It’s the 30th retirement of Badosa’s professional career and leaves Spain without a woman in the singles field.

Badosa, who sat in Tsitsipas’ box during the opening set of his Centre Court match vs. former No. 1 Andy Murray last night, said the Greek’s support has been invaluable.

“Yeah, it’s amazing to have him supporting me,” Badosa said. “As you know, we have a very good relationship. Yeah, I think we support each other and we give each other strength.

“Yeah, we’re there for each other, so it’s nice to have him. But not only in this tournament. It’s nice to have him in general.”