Paula Badosa recalls her battle with anxiety, depression



by DZEVAD MESIC

Paula Badosa recalls her battle with anxiety, depression

Top-ranked Spanish female tennis player Paula Badosa revealed that massive expectations and pressure contributed to her developing anxiety and depression issues. Badosa, 24, was compared to Maria Sharapova at the start of her career.

But unlike Sharapova, Badosa didn't win a Grand Slam as a teenager and it took her time before she became a star on the WTA Tour. Not making good results - all while having massive expectations and pressure placed on her - put Badosa in a dark place.

"They were like, I'm the next Maria Sharapova. I was very young and I wasn't prepared to listen to all that. I was super big, a lot of expectations and pressure. People watching me wherever I play and expecting me to win every match was too much for me.

I remember, a few years I had depression and a lot of anxiety. I was dealing with a lot of mental health issues. My head wasn't prepared to listen to all those things and compete," Badosa said in a conversation with the WTA titled "The Real Me."

Badosa: I didn't see a way out of it

Because of anxiety and depression, Badosa started withdrawing and preferred to stay home alone instead of going out with friends.

Also, Badosa suggested that the stress she was feeling contributed to physical issues and injuries. "I wasn't, maybe, even mature enough to know how to deal with all those emotions in that moment. I struggled a lot for a few years, maybe 2-3 years it was very tough for me.

I wasn't even advancing in the rankings and I was losing a lot. It was very tough for me to have a routine every day because I was feeling very bad and I was struggling with injuries as well. When you have mental issues, even your body is not feeling well.

I remember even normal things in life were very tough for me. The first thing you want to do when you're back home is go out with friends or go to the cinema or do other things, go shopping. I was just staying at home alone, struggling, and dealing with myself, being very negative.

I didn't see a way to get out of it," Badosa added. Now, Badosa has a WTA 1000 title in her collection and she is a top-5 player. This season, Badosa has been learning and adjusting to the life of being a tennis superstar.