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By Chris Oddo | @TheFanChild | Tuesday November 9, 2021

Before the 2021 season began, Spain’s Paula Badosa found it impossible to imagine herself inside the WTA’s Top-30, let alone the Top-10. Well, dreams do come true.

Tennis Express

The 23-year-old Spaniard, coming off the Indian Wells title, currently ranks No.10 in the world and she’ll take her place in a wide open draw at the WTA Finals in Guadalajara as one of the six debutantes competing in singles this year.

It has been a wild ride indeed for the Spaniard. Of the eight players competing in singles this week in Mexico, Badosa had the lowest ranking of the group at the end of 2020. She was No.70 in the world then, but a year later she has emerged as a true force on the WTA Tour, with 41 wins and two titles to her name to prove it.

“It means a lot,” she said when asked what being in the Top-10 means to her. “I will try not to get emotional, but I've been through a lot. I'm very proud of myself. I think I did a very good year. It always has been a dream to me to be in top 10, one of the best players in the world. Now it's coming true.”

Badosa said when she was setting goals at the start of the season, Top-50 was what she saw as a realistic target.

“At the beginning of the year I remember having a conversation with my coach after Abu Dhabi, my first tournament,” she said. “He said, ‘You keep playing like this, for sure you're going to get the top 30.’

“I was like, That's impossible to finish the year top 30. Top 50, I can sign here. Imagine I finished the year top 10. What can I say? Yeah, I didn't even expect it. Even less expected to be here in the WTA Finals.”

Badosa, who has been drawn into Gropu Chichen Itza, is in with three other WTA Finals debutantes (Aryna Sabalenka, Iga Swiatek and Maria Sakkari). She says it’s a tough group, but after spending the last few days getting used to the playing conditions in Guadalajara she is ready for the challenge.

“They're all amazing players,” she said. “I know I'm opening with Aryna. She's No. 2 in the world, one of the favorites here. I know it's going to be a tough one. All of them, they're playing well. The others in the group, they can adapt quite well in altitude. It's going to be a tough group but I'm ready for it.”