PARIS: Paula Badosa reached her first Grand Slam quarter-final when she beat 2019 finalist Marketa Vondrousova 6-4 3-6 6-2 at the French Open, with her aggressive baseline play outclassing the Czech 20th seed on Court Suzanne Lenglen on Sunday.
The pair had never met before on the WTA Tour but the last-16 contest gave Badosa a sense of deja vu after she beat Vondrousova in Paris in 2015 en route to her French Open girls' singles title.
"She was number one in the world in juniors in that moment," Badosa told reporters after extending her claycourt record to a Tour-leading 17 wins this year.
"I remember it was quite tough, very tactical match. She's a very smart player. Today was the same six years after, but it was the same situation ... I think I managed the nerves pretty well."
Vondrousova used the drop shot to good effect in the opening stages to take a 3-1 lead but Bodasa soon became wise to her strategy and started to control the rallies, breaking back to level at 3-3.
Vondrousova made two double faults and an unforced error in the ninth game to hand Badosa the break and the Spaniard kept her nerve to save two break points in the final game and take the opening set with a deft lob over the Czech.
The second set went with serve as Badosa won points on the longer rallies, saving break points time and again, while Vondrousova looked to finish points with a strong service game and shorter rallies.
However, Vondrousova claimed the crucial break to go up 4-2 before serving out the set, sending the match into a decider when Badosa's return on set point found the net.
In the final set, Vondrousova's fatigue was in stark contrast to the energy of Badosa, who broke twice to take a 4-1 lead.
The Spaniard broke a third time in the final game, when Vondrousova's return on a second match point went long, to set up a quarter-final clash with unseeded Slovenian Tamara Zidansek.