Spain's Badosa beats Azarenka to capture Indian Wells title
INDIAN WELLS, United States, Oct 18, 2021 (BSS/AFP) - Paula Badosa
demonstrated her mental toughness to become the Indian Wells champion in her
desert debut on Sunday with a hard-fought, three-set victory over two-time
champ Victoria Azarenka.
The Spaniard, who had not lost a set since her first match of the WTA Tour
tournament, needed three hours and four minutes to out-muscle Azarenka 7-6
(7/5), 2-6, 7-6 (7/2).
Badosa won her only previous WTA final earlier this season in Belgrade but
she did it via a retirement over Ana Konjuh.
This one was sweeter because Badosa got to close out the championship point
on the court, hammering a forehand winner to the open side that Azarenka
could only watch sail in.
Badosa celebrated the biggest win of her career by falling face first to
the court with her hands covering her face while the crowd cheered.
Two-time Australian Open winner Azarenka was trying to become the first
three-time WTA winner in Indian Wells.
She battled back several times on Sunday, digging in after dropping the
first set in a tightly-contested tiebreaker.
But the Belarussian fell behind early in the final set tiebreaker and