MADRID, Spain -- Paula Badosa hasn't had much time to revel in her rise to World No.2. Twelve months ago, the 24-year-old needed a wildcard to play the Mutua Madrid Open, where she proceeded to make the semifinals, the best result by a Spanish woman ever. She returns as the highest seed, having taken over as the new No.2 after Stuttgart.
Asked how she was feeling ahead of her home tournament, Badosa laughed.
"Stressful," Badosa told reporters at Media Day in Madrid. "That's the word. It's stressful, nerves. I really want to do well here. I always say it. Because I'm playing in front of my people, my family, everyone. It's special. I live in Madrid, so it's even more special for me.
"It's crazy. Everything happened very fast and maybe here it's where everything started. Starting it at home, with all my people is very special. And coming back here again is always going to be special. Of course, I'm going to be nervous and feel the pressure, but I cannot wait to start and feel all the people supporting me."
Badosa is well aware of her tough draw in Madrid. She opens against an in-form Veronika Kudermetova and then could play two-time champion Simona Halep in the second round. But Badosa has good reason to be confident in her own chances, having come off yet another strong tournament performance in Stuttgart, where she made the semifinals.
Yet even as she celebrates her new career milestone at No.2, the Manhattan-born Spaniard says she's already trying to temper her ambitious attitude.
"I always want more," Badosa said. "I remember talking with my coach and asking, 'Can I be happy [one] day and enjoy it?! For at least one week?!' Because I always want more and more and more. And now this and then it's not enough. But I think it's part of the personality of every player. It's not only me. When you are playing at this level, everyone is very competitive. I'm trying to enjoy it a little bit for one hour a day.
"I just try to stay calm and to enjoy where I am because in my case, it has been a very tough journey. I'm still young because I was Top 10 at 23. Still, it has been a very long one and I've been through a lot, so I want to try to enjoy it. We only live once, and maybe I'm not here anymore in a few years. You never know, so I want to enjoy this moment."
So what will it take to reel in the streaking World No.1 Iga Swiatek? After Ashleigh Barty's retirement, both Swiatek and Badosa had a chance of leaving the Miami Open as the new No.1. Swiatek has only widened the point chasm ever since.
"She's winning every tournament, so I feel very far," Badosa laughed. "She has to retire in a few [more tournaments]. It's far, but it's nice that I'm No.2. Let's see in a few months if I can fight for that position.
"But even being in this position is already a privilege. Let's see. Maybe I'll have to wait until next year, because this year is going to be complicated."