Paula Badosa retires during match against Aryna Sabalenka at Stuttgart

Sabalenka and Badosa share a long embrace after the match, and both were emotional
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Paula Badosa, who dealt with a debilitating back injury for nearly a year, had to retire from her match against Aryna Sabalenka in Stuttgart with a leg injury.

It was a heartbreaking conclusion to a brilliant match that saw both players displaying great shotmaking. Sabalenka narrowly won the first set in a tiebreaker. Badosa charged back in the second. Late in the second set with the lead, she required a medical timeout and was taken off the court. When she returned, her left hamstring was heavily bandaged.

Her movement did not seem hindered, and she went on to win the second set 6-4. Badosa also jumped out in front in the third set, but when Sabalenka evened the score at 3-3, Badosa retired. In the previous couple of games, she was walking gingerly, and her movement was not as fluid as it had been the rest of the match.

'Sabadosa' shared a long embrace

No one wants to win that way, and Sabalenka looked concerned when she met Badosa at the net. The audio seemed to catch Badosa saying that her back is fine, but now it is her leg.

Worse than that, Badosa broke down in tears by the umpire's chair, and she and Sabalenka shared a long embrace where Sabalenka looked emotional also.

Everyone is rooting for Paula Badosa to get and stay healthy. Her game is a joy to watch, and she was firing on all cylinders in this match against Sabalenka. Had she been healthy, it would have been a slugfest to the end, and Badosa's chances would have been good.

Badosa was also playing doubles in this event with Ons Jabeur. Players who have had long layoffs due to health or pregnancy have shown that the physical demands of the WTA Tour are difficult to reacclimate to. The tennis skills might be there, but the ability to withstand the rigorous schedule and play at all hours of the day and night is difficult. Case in point, when Badosa retired from the match, it was after 1 AM local time. We wish Badosa the best and hope the injury is minor.

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