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Here you play what I say, expresses Paula Badosa with her eyes, overflowing at the beginning and whole when the curves arrive and the land slopes abruptly. Strong when you need it. The Spaniard hits, loads, dictates, enjoys and also knows how to suffer, while Marta Kostuyk, a talented Ukrainian who in her day (2018) made history when, literally as a teenager (15 years old), she managed to progress to the third round of the Australian Open from from the previous phase, he gets exasperated first and then replies fiercely, insurgently and stubbornly, although he ends up giving in. And the Catalan insists: I’m in charge here. Thus, between the control and the mismanagement of a match with two episodes, he won (6-2, 5-7 and 6-4, in 2h 19m) and entered the second week of the great Australian for the first time.

On the hedonistic wave, enjoying the sweet present that already places her among the 16 best players of this edition and with the possibility of continuing to stand out, Badosa exercises in all her expression, that of a dominant tennis player who, if she finds inspiration, is a meteorite. At first he does almost everything well, but there is a mole with the serve and decrease, so he changes his suit and resists. With a hard head when it is required and the duel puts her in a good knot, she finally reduces Kostiuk, the Ukrainian re-enlisted in the second set and betrayed by the excess of momentum in a crazy third, and definitively makes her way among the favorites to win the tournament, because one thing is conjecture and another is facts. With as much prudence as ambition, the Spanish claims prominence in Melbourne.

Everything has been a breeze until Kostyuk gets up with his backhand and draws a chaotic scenario that benefits his interests. From the monologue one passes to the entanglement. The story was going in one direction, but there is a swerve and everything goes wrong. The Ukrainian (66th of the WTA and 19 years old) presses and re-engages, and the pulse leads to a convoluted outcome in which five breaks, from lurch to lurch. Even so, Badosa deals the definitive blow and at the fifth opportunity, closes it to meet the American Madison Keys (… to Qiang Wang) at the next stop and place herself in an unprecedented situation: for the first time in her career, the Catalan, from 24 years old, she is the best positioned Spaniard in the ranking, virtual number five and, therefore, ahead of Garbiñe Muguruza, sixth.

Badosa continues providing arguments to dream, prolonging an extraordinary dynamic and showing that he manages better and better the emotional ups and downs that decide so much. Everything has gone in the right direction, but Kostyuk has led her into a labyrinth from which she knows how to escape. She stands up and finally celebrates, and after raising her arms, hugging her friend and blowing a couple of kisses to the stands, she falls on the collapsed chair. She has not been fine with the serve, which is why there has been debate –discreet percentages with first (65%) and second (45%)–, but in addition to the offensive record that characterizes her, she has guts. You also have to know how to use the shield and row, and respond to the forcefulness of the opponent (30 winning shots) with one slam after another: ten break options denied (5/15).

Badosa advances. Eight wins in a row since landing in Melbourne – five to win the Sydney tournament and three more in the major– and an escalation that finds no brake. In one version or another, on approach or from the trench, the Spanish continues to enlarge. Continue your beautiful journey on the heights.

Check the Results and the order of play.

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