Paula Badosa Gibert won the French Open girls title earlier this summer, and is currently ranked 229th in the world. Born in New York City, Badosa Gibert resides in Valencia, Spain, and recently sat down with tennis journalist Mark “Scoop” Malinowski to talk about everything from her tennis memories to her hobbies off the court.
Status: WTA #229. Won the French Open Junior Girls title this year.
DOB: Nov. 15, 1997
Born in: New York, N.Y.
First tennis memory: I remember the first time I began to play clay tennis. It was a small court. And I remember my first match at the age of eight … I lost 6-0 6-0. I remember my first victory, my first trophy. I have very good memories of that.
Tennis inspirations: Maria Sharapova and Rafael Nadal.
First famous player you met or encountered: Sara Errani … because I used to train at the same academy and I met her in Valencia.
Funniest players encountered: Novak Djokovic is very funny. I don't know, my idol is Rafa Nadal, so I like him.
Favorite sport outside of tennis: I like futbol, so I'm a Barcelona follower.
Why do you love playing tennis: Well, I started doing it and I never stopped. I really love it. I'm very individualistic, and tennis is a very individual sport, so I really like it.
Funniest tennis memory: I remember one time I went to a match with no rackets [smiles]. So it was very awkward [smiles]. I had to ask my opponent for a racket [laughs]. It was a disaster. I was only 13. I was young, but it was no excuse.
What was the result of the match: I won. I was so awkward.
Qualities most admired in others: I really like people who are honest and who are fighters. I think I'm a fighter, so, I really like people who fight for their things. And that's most admirable to me.
<p>Scoop Malinowski is the co-owner of Tennis-prose.com. His book, <em>Marcelo Rios: The Man We Barely Knew is</em>now available through Amazon.com. He may be reached by e-mail at <a href="mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org">email@example.com</a>.</p>