Caroline Garcia Set aside Aryna Sabalenka in Cincinnati

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Caroline Garcia Set aside Aryna Sabalenka in Cincinnati

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Tennis News: Caroline Garcia has claimed her third win over a top 10 player at the 2022 Cincinnati Open (Western & Southern Open).

The Frenchman ousted world number 7 Aryna Sabalenka 6-2, 4-6, 6-1, a win that made her the first qualifier to reach the final of a WTA level 1000 tournament.

The world number 35 has now won more matches than any other woman since early June. The win over Sabalenka was the player’s 26th victory since last June, including winning titles at Bad Homburg and Warsaw.

After struggling hard through the qualifying rounds, the French national has claimed victory over world number 4 Maria Sakkari; world number 7 Sabalenka; and world number 8 Jessica Pegula. He also knocked out Elise Mertens in the last 16 of the Cincinnati Open.

“I don’t think anyone would have guessed that, that’s for sure. It’s a long way from qualifying,” Garcia said.

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A foot injury kept the world number 35 out of the tournament in the spring, but he returned to action at the French Open in May and won the Grand Slam doubles title with compatriot Kristina Mladenovic. Since then, he has quickly translated that win into the singles match.

The former world number 4 gave credit for working with his new coach, Bertrand Perret, which made him appear more aggressive and more attacking. He also added physio to his team.

The tennis player’s serve made the big difference on the fast, low-ball courts in Cincinnati. On the way to the semifinals, she was broken only three times and in the semifinals, Sabalenka was unable to find an opening to break the French tennis player’s serve in the first and third sets.

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Against Sabalenka for the first time since 2018, Garcia edged the world number 7 in the first set after he struck with 13 winners and made only three unforced errors while converting his two break point opportunities.

After rain delayed the match at 1-1 in the second set, the world number 7 turned things around, including breaking the world number 35 three times in the second set.

After briefly asking for a break for medical reasons to receive treatment and splinting his left arm, Garcia found his best form again and took a 3-1 lead in the third set. After being postponed again due to rain, the Frenchman regained his lead 4-1 before finally sealing a ticket to the Cincinnati Open final. The victory made their head to head draw with 2-2.

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“First of all, being in the finals of a level 1000 WTA tournament after so long and this scenario, is just unbelievable,” Garcia said. “We had to stop several times. We never know when we will be back on the pitch. It’s a long wait and in waiting you never know what you are supposed to do. So, quite heavy.”

“I’m very happy with the final preparations to come back at 3-1. I’m really ready for every point. That’s what makes the difference.”

Coming into the final of the WTA 1000 level tournament for the third time in her career and for the first time since the 2017 season, Garcia will face Czech Petra Kvitova.

Tags: Tennis, Cincinnati Open, Caroline Garcia, Aryna Sabalenka

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