Paula Badosa, 23 years old, called in September 2020 to Javi marti, 29, to start a new stage after having closed the one he had with the technician Xavi Budó, now at Barça. The change also implied leaving Barcelona to work in Madrid.
Javi marti, one of the hopes of Spanish tennis until an elbow injury closed the doors, also opened a different era in his sporting life, making his debut as a coach. He hadn’t hung up the racket all the way, but five operations on the damaged joint led to other chores. And Paula Badosa wanted to share her experiences with someone who had also had a bad time, “whom they compared to Nadal. And they compared me to Maria Sharapova”, He remembered.
Qualified for the quarterfinals of Roland Garros for the first time, surpassing her joint debut in the eighth of Paris in 2020, the Girona woman publicly thanked her team, and especially Javi Martí, for helping her manage expectations and pressure .
The technician explained, via videoconference due to the pandemic, how the work with Paula is being and what he thinks of her current level. After the semifinals in Madrid and the title in Belgrador, its status as one of the favorites has been accentuated in the French capital.
Mental factor and environment: “It is basic, very important for Paula. She knew how to play tennis for a long time, she is very talented. It has been essential to build an environment of good professionals and, above all, good people who earned their trust on a personal level. We have focused on the process, not whether you win or lose. To improve every day at least one percent. If you win, great but if you lose the world doesn’t end and the next day you get up again wanting to work. Enjoying the process is being very important for Paula ”.
Your own personal experience to help: “One of the things that is helping me as a coach is that I have had a bad time mentally, first as a young man when you are not old enough to handle the pressure well. People expected great things from me and there are times when I had a hard time. I had a serious injury that did not allow me to have the career that I would have liked, but it made me mature. She has seen the connection with me, we can talk about any thoughts that go through her head. I will understand it from my humble position and opinion ”.
Favorite condition: “The difficult work that I have to do before the games. He was playing the role of underdog but in recent weeks there has been a total change and he becomes a favorite (as against Tamara Zidansek in the Roland Garros quarterfinals). But we have looked at how women’s tennis works, with many surprises, with the 80 or 90 being able to play at the top ten level. It has helped us to understand that it does not matter who is in front, we do not look at the ranking ”.
Changes made: “It has been a general change. Creating a very solid structure, improving his physique because it was difficult for him to defend balls, also mentally it was difficult for him to accept it. Altering the diet. I didn’t eat badly but not in the way an athlete has to eat, and to exploit good weapons more, be aggressive, serve second, vary the directions of the serve. The game in defense has been very important ”.
Not only tennis: “Being a professional every day is difficult and sometimes overwhelming. It is very important to have release after the tournaments to recover the gasoline. Once we finish work, he also has his free time: watching series, talking with friends, being distracted. Rest time is very important. If you come from doing a good tournament, there is no problem in having two days of totally disconnecting ”.
Euphoria, winning Roland Garros: “Our philosophy is game by game, day by day. Paula can compete face to face against anyone, but if she doesn’t do things well, she can lose to anyone. And we are going to have a tough quarterfinal match ”.