Paula Badosa collected her biggest career title at Indian Wells coming from a break down in the third to deny Victoria Azarenka 7-6(5), 2-6, 7-6(2).
Seeking a record third Indian Wells title, Azarenka served for the match at 5-4 but the Spaniard raised her level just in time.
“I think it was a really tough match,” Badosa said. “I think it was a really good one as well, because she played an amazing level. I think I had to rise [to a] high level every set. At the third set, I think I played my best. It was the only option if I wanted to win, so I’m really proud of it.”
En route to her second career title, Badosa topped four Top 20 players.
“The first thing that I’ve learned this week is that nothing is impossible,” she said. “If you fight, if you work, after all these years, you can achieve anything. That’s the first message that I see that could happen. And to dream. Sometimes you have tough moments. In my case, I have been through tough moments. I never stopped dreaming. That’s what kept me working hard and believing until the last moment.
“I’m very happy what’s happening. I’m a little bit still in shock what happened today because winning a tournament like this, it’s always been a dream.”
Badosa moves from No. 26 to a career-best No. 13, and puts in her the race for the WTA finals next month in Mexico.
Badosa was playing in her first Indian Wells while Azarenka was just points from a third title in the desert.
“The entire match the quality of tennis was super high level. We were both going for our shots, really pushing each other to the max,” said Azarenka.
“That’s what made it super entertaining, that competitive spirit, really fighting for every ball, not giving in anywhere.”
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