Paula Badosa is one of the player’s who laid bare a little more of their soul on Netflix’s Break Point Docuseries.
Badosa has admitted to facing a mental health struggle intrinsically linked to being a tennis professional.
At her best Badosa feels like she can beat any player in the world, but on her darker days she doesn’t want to be on court at all.
“When I’m OK, I feel at home on court and I feel like this is my place. But I go from that to ‘get me out of here, I want to die,’” Badosa said in an interview with WTATennis.com.
She added that she feels as though experience and exposure to the WTA Tour made it easier to handle the rigours and challenges.
“The difference was that now I’m more exposed and of course for me it was tough to handle what people were saying about me, the judging of playing a tennis match, I couldn’t in my head understand a little bit what was happening,” Badosa said.
“But then I learned and I understand that you’re an athlete and you’re exposed to that and I have to accept it and that I have to listen to the people surrounding me, my team, and that’s the most important no matter what.”
Badosa says that her struggle now is to deal with the pressure and expectation of being a top player and the demands away from the court itself.
“At the beginning it’s a little bit shocking because that was my first time [being in the top 10],” she said. “I think the difference compared to before, when I wasn’t that exposed, when the pressure was about ‘what she can be’ and in this moment I’m already here and I have to handle so many things and people and so many new experiences, even off court, they were for me very new.”
Badosa concedes in the documentary that it isn’t easy for sports people to admit to mental health struggles because they feel as though they are broadcasting a weakness to the world.
However, the Spaniard believes that reluctance must be overcome to help everyone in tennis, sport and wider society.
“I feel happy when other athletes talk about it and we normalize these situations,” Badosa said.
“You feel you’re not alone in this and of course there are other players that struggle. In tennis there are moments that you feel unbeatable and moments you feel you can lose against anyone. It’s a very mental sport.”
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