She stayed on her cloud until the end. Faithful to the ultra-offensive strategy that has been so successful for her in recent weeks, Caroline Garcia ideally ended her dream week on Sunday in Cincinnati by mastering with authority in the final the Czech Petra Kvitova, 28th in the world, in two sets (6-2, 6-4) and 1h42 into the game. The first player from qualifying to win a WTA 1000, the Lyonnaise had not managed such a performance since her title in Beijing in 2017. This 10th trophy gleaned on the circuit will also allow her to return to the Top 20 (17th).
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She is definitely the player of the moment. Since the beginning of June, Caroline Garcia has won 26 matches, more than any other on the circuit. And this week in Ohio, she won 8 in a row, from qualifying to Sunday’s final. Full of confidence, she applied the same recipe, with impressive efficiency: constant aggression that suffocated Petra Kvitova. The Czech never recovered from this double break conceded from the start.
Aggressiveness, calm and confidence at the zenith: the keys to success
Statistics do not fully reflect the size of a game. But in the case of this Cincinnati final, they were saying a lot. Here are a few: after five games, Caroline Garcia had still not committed the slightest unforced error, she who does not skimp on risk-taking. The Frenchwoman also saved the 8 break points she faced in this final. That is to say the certainties that inhabit him and against which his adversary quickly proved powerless.
Confidence is a mysterious matter in tennis, but one thing is certain: Caroline Garcia has totally found it. One game perhaps symbolized it more than the others: well ahead of a set and a break (6-2, 3-2), the Frenchwoman had to face a small revolt from Kvitova, who got three break points at 0/40. The following ? Two aces struck and a relentless defense to come back to height and dissipate the last glimmers of hope of the Czech.
Caroline Garcia in the Cincinnati WTA 1000 final, Sunday August 21, 2022
Credit: Getty Images
But this state of grace, Garcia has found it above all thanks to a line of conduct of great coherence. There was something fascinating about seeing her systematically go a yard or two into the court on every second ball from her opponents to unleash missiles and impose suffocating pressure. Her ability to follow at the net, also to vary with her curling forehand crosses that made Kvitova travel and her constant concentration paid off. Assured of being the top seed at the US Open, the Frenchwoman can nurture legitimate ambitions there. His tennis has perhaps never been better.
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