Caroline Garcia, 17e world, seemed petrified by the stakes of a first Grand Slam semi-final on Thursday at the US Open, where she was swept away by Tunisian Ons Jabeur (5e) 6-1, 6-3 in 1h 6. Jabeur (28) will play his second major final in a row after that of Wimbledon. It will be against the Polish Iga Swiatek (noh 1 in the world), fallee of Aryna Sabalenka. The noh 1 qualified for her third of a Grand Slam tournament, overthrowing 3-6, 6-1, 6-4 Belarusian Aryna Sabalenka (6e).
” It’s awesome ! After Wimbledon [défaite en finale contre Elena Rybakina], I was under a lot of pressure and I’m really relieved to have confirmed my results. The hard court season had started a bit badly, but I’m very happy to be in the final.”commented the Tunisian.
Garcia appeared very tense as soon as she entered the Arthur-Ashe court, contrary to what she had let on in previous rounds. And she never broke free. Holder of the aces record for the season (316 before the semi-final) and for the tournament this year (30 before the semi-final), she only managed 2 (all in the second set), against 8 for Jabeur. And she committed a total of 23 unforced errors (against 15 for her opponent).
The Lyonnaise missed the first innings by completely missing her first game of service (four unforced errors) to concede the break. On the contrary, Jabeur started with two aces and won his first service game to lead 2-0.
“It went wrong, the start of the match was not in my favor. One or two points where I frankly didn’t go there, like still a lot of points afterwards. The arm did not pass as well, and with my style of play, it made me sometimes miss my target: the ball escaped a little or took the net, “said Caroline Garcia.
The Frenchwoman then landed her first and only game of the set, which she offered to her opponent on a 14e unforced error (against 5 for the Tunisian in this first set).
Garcia regains its best ranking since 2018
In the second set, Jabeur scored the break to lead 3-1 and then kept his advantage until the end. Despite his father’s injunctions – “Put on the pressure! » motioning him forward into the court – Garcia failed to put his game in place.
This game which had allowed her to align a series of 13 successive victories since the first round of qualifying in Cincinnati, where she won the 10e title of his career, just before coming to New York. Still ranked 79e World in May, the old noh 4 will find the top 10 on Monday, at the 10e square. A first since October 2018. Caroline Garcia notes the progress made: “ It’s a Grand Slam half and a Masters 1000 won in Cincinnati. An increasingly clear game in my head, which is effective when I manage to let my arm pass and I am physically well. There is still plenty of room for improvement in many areas. Today there was no long line backhand. The long line forehand didn’t work either! It’s also a lot of enthusiasm for the future. »
“I knew she was playing incredible tennis and putting a lot of pressure on her opponent. It wasn’t easy for me, but I was so well prepared mentally.”explained Jabeur.
As for the rest, the Tunisian admitted with a smile that she hoped that Swiatek and Sabalenka would tear each other apart. “for five hours”.