Mirra Andreeva and Paula Badosa get big wins on clay

  • In Rouen, Mirra Andreeva wins first match since the Australian Open
  • Paula Badosa gets a confidence-building first round win at Stuttgart
Michael Owens/GettyImages

Mirra Andreeva and Paula Badosa earned big clay court wins on Monday. Andreeva is playing in Rouen, and Badosa is at Stuttgart.

The Rouen Open is a relatively new tournament on the WTA schedule; it is a WTA 250-level event, and Andreeva's older sister Erika Andreeva was the runner-up in 2023, the second year of the event. Naomi Osaka makes her return to the clay in the Rouen Open. The Porsche Grand Prix in Stuttgart, Germany is a WTA 500 event that has existed since the late 1970s. Iga Swiatek is the two-time defending champion in Stuttgart, but Angelique Kerber is returning to the clay on home soil in Stuttgart in 2024.

Andreeva won her first match since losing in the fourth round of the Australian Open in January. In addition to exiting tournaments in the first round, she also dealt with tendonitis which caused her to withdraw from the Miami Open. She is only 16 years old so her playing time is limited per WTA regulations, but she is a bright young talent who is going through the growing pains of being a breakout star on the WTA Tour in 2023. Among the big changes she made was to her team. She is testing a coaching relationship with Grand Slam champion Conchita Martinez who previously worked with Garbine Muguruza and Karolina Pliskova.

Andreeva collected her win in Rouen, and Badosa wins in Stuttgart

Paula Badosa won her first-round match in Stuttgart. Badosa has dealt with a back injury on and off for nearly a year that has stopped and started her career at irregular intervals. When healthy, she has the game and shots to be a contender but has not been able to build sufficient momentum or gain critical matchplay to rise in the rankings.

When she does win matches, it seems like the luck of the draw does not go her way. Just as it occurred at the Miami Open a few weeks ago, Badosa's first-round Stuttgart win earns her a match with good friend and World No. 2 Aryna Sabalenka, a two-time finalist at this event.

The longer I watch tennis, the more I admire the stamina, discipline, and work-ethic of these athletes. A lot is out of their control when they arrive at a tournament, but they have a laser focus on controlling the parts of the game they can: practice, nutrition, schedule, and attitude.

Read more on Lob and Smash