Expected Points, May 20: The Rise of Paula Badosa


Anticipated Factors, my new quick, each day podcast, highlights three numbers for example stats, traits, and attention-grabbing trivia across the sport.

Up as we speak: Badosa could possibly be probably the most harmful floater in Paris, Pablo Cuevas seems to be to get his recreation again on monitor, and Caty McNally is a doubles wizard no matter who she companions.

Scroll down for a transcript.

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Music: Love is the Chase by Admiral Bob (c) copyright 2021. Licensed beneath a Inventive Commons Attribution Noncommercial (3.0) license. Ft: Apoxode

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Tough transcript of as we speak’s episode:

The primary quantity is 16, Paula Badosa’s win whole on clay for the reason that excursions restarted final summer time. When Covid introduced the WTA to a halt early final 12 months, the 23-year-old Spaniard was barely inside the highest 100, with one tour-level semi-final and one different quarter-final to her title on her most popular floor. Since then, it’s been off to the races: a semi in Istanbul, fourth spherical on the French, and within the final six weeks, semi-finals in Charleston and Madrid, and now a quarter-final in Belgrade. Her rating is comfortably inside the highest 50, and her clay-specific Tennis Summary Elo is sixteenth greatest within the recreation. If her rating stays exterior of the vary for a Roland Garros seeding, she’ll be probably the most harmful early-round floater within the draw. Three extra wins in Serbia this week and her friends shall be respiration a sigh of aid: Titlist factors from Belgrade will transfer her as much as thirty fourth on the official checklist, doubtless adequate for a French Open seed after the inevitable withdrawals.

Our second quantity is 2, the variety of video games Pablo Cuevas must win as we speak to advance to his first tour-level quarter-final in in 15 months. The Uruguayan’s second-rounder in Geneva was one in all many matches round Europe suspended by rain yesterday, leaving him up a set and a break on 18-year-old French wild card Arthur Cazaux. It’s already been a confidence-building week for Cuevas, who got here via qualifying and gained back-to-back matches for the primary time since Hamburg final fall. The 35-year-old missed this 12 months’s South American golden swing, website of his most up-to-date profession highlights, together with final 12 months’s Buenos Aires quarter-final, when he battled Diego Schwartzman for practically 4 hours earlier than shedding 7-5 within the third. On reflection, that traditional seems to be like a last hurrah. Two weeks in the past, Cuevas fell out of the ATP high 100 for the primary time in seven years, and the one top-50 gamers he’s defeated for the reason that restart are two Individuals on clay. Assuming he finishes the job in opposition to Cazaux, the quarter-finals will carry a very good check of his stage, in 4th-seeded Grigor Dimitrov.

At the moment’s third and last quantity is 10, Caty McNally’s present win streak in doubles, with three completely different companions. The 19-year-old American is greatest identified for her doubles exploits with Coco Gauff, a duo that reached the Australian Open quarter-finals in 2020 and repeated their last eight exhibiting this 12 months. McNally’s singles rating stays exterior the highest 100, so she will’t observe Gauff to each tour-level occasion. However that hasn’t stopped her from successful. Within the second WTA Charleston occasion final month, she partnered countrywoman Hailey Baptiste to a title, beating Aussies Ellen Perez and Storm Sanders within the last. She adopted that up three weeks later at an ITF 100K in Charleston, partnering Sanders and beating Baptiste within the semis. Now she’s in Parma, the place she misplaced within the first spherical of singles to Sloane Stephens, however has cruised to the doubles semis with Gauff. In two matches, the Individuals have misplaced solely three video games, spending a complete of 105 minutes on court docket. McNally might by no means obtain the celebrity standing of her common accomplice, however as doubles prospects go, her future is as shiny as anybody’s.


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