At the end of the effort, Caroline Garcia defeated 4-6, 6-1, 7-6 (7/5) the Russian Daria Kasatkina, Saturday November 5 in Fort Worth, in the south of the United States, to offer a WTA Masters semi-final within reach on Sunday against the Greek Maria Sakkari. She will face a better ranked opponent (fifth in the world), who appeared formidable this week, but whom she has beaten twice in as many confrontations.
So here she is more than two victories away from becoming the second Frenchwoman to add her name to the winners of this event, after Amélie Mauresmo, who was crowned at the expense of Mary Pierce in 2005, during a 100% tricolor final of another time.
In the meantime, she could savor her success, acquired as much thanks to her perseverance as to her offensive game. “It was a crazy game. I had to give everything to win it, stay positive until the end. Daria is such a fighter, I’m glad I was as much as her tonight.”she said hot on the court, after 2:30 of a fierce fight against the eighth world.
“I tried to play aggressively, even though she’s probably the best defensive player in the world. We have very opposing games, which has resulted in some nice rallies”she added.
A few moments before the famous hit “Sweet Caroline” by Neil Diamond, Garcia had just collapsed with joy, but above all with relief, seeing this ball caught by Kasatkina die in the net. The outcome is therefore happy, but it could just as well not have been. And then, she would have bitterly regretted these six wasted break points at 4-4 in the third set, after thirteen minutes that this ninth game lasted.
Previously, the French had been able to get back into the match, swallowing the second set in an authoritarian way, after the loss of the first during which she nevertheless led 4-2. A remarkable performance in itself, because when Kasatkina takes the first round, she always wins behind. The Russian has thus won the twenty-eight matches in which she had the best start this year. But not the twenty-ninth.
Garcia did not deliver a perfect match, far from it. Witness his more numerous unforced errors (forty-eight) than his winning shots (forty-two), but his permanent aggressiveness rewarded him. As much as her faith in her game. With this victory, imperative to hope to continue her journey in this competition, she thus made sure to finish second in the Tracey Austin group, behind the untouchable Iga Swiatek, best player in the world, who will be against Belarusian Aryna Sabalenka in the other half.
An exceptional season
For “Caro”, this course is already a satisfaction after six difficult last weeks, victim of a phenomenon of decompensation after a flamboyant summer, which saw her win three titles (Bad Homburg, Warsaw, Cincinnati), before reaching semifinals at the US Open. Enough to go from seventy-fifth to sixth place in the world in a few months, and invite yourself to the Masters.
A rebirth, after more than four years without brilliance, between crisis of confidence, tennis in distress and recurring physical worries, which she managed to overcome this year, in a spectacular way, thanks to her work done with coach Bertrand Perret, key to its success.
However, in mid-October, after the elimination in the second round of the Guadalajara tournament, the latter decided to put an end to eleven months of a fruitful collaboration, citing without specifying the nature of the problems that had arisen in recent weeks. . A decision that took Garcia by surprise, arriving in Fort Worth in the midst of uncertainty. Helped for the occasion by the Argentinian coach Juan Pablo Guzman, who had already worked with her last year, she however regained momentum at the best time.
That she will have to keep this Sunday against Sakkari, also back in the semi-finals, a year later.