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Caroline Garcia wins the Cincinnati tournaments
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Caroline Garcia wins the Cincinnati tournaments

Driven by an irresistible momentum, Caroline Garcia achieved the greatest feat of her career in Cincinnati, becoming the first player to win a WTA 1000 from qualifying, at the expense of Petra Kvitova, Sunday August 21, in the final.

The Frenchwoman, 35e world, in no way intimidated by the challenge, first left no chance to the Czech (28th) before remaining solid until the end, winning 6-2, 6-4 in 01:36.

She offers herself at 28 a third coronation in a WTA 1000, just below the Grand Slams, in as many finals disputed, after her triumphs in Wuhan and Beijing in 2017. In the process, she had reached the semi-finals of the Masters in Singapore, certainly during an end of the season less difficult to apprehend than a preparation on hard for the US Open.

“What an amazing week. It’s hard to believe that I’m here in front of you” to lift the trophy, reacted all smiles Caroline Garcia.

This tenth title in total is also her third in two months, after those gleaned on the grass of Bad Homburg and the clay of Warsaw, where she had in passing the scalp of the world number 1 Iga Swiatek.

Petra Kvitova, the double winner of Wimbledon (2011, 2014), however had for her the experience of major events since she was playing there her 12e final of a WTA 1000 (8 wins), the 40e all categories combined (29 successes).

26 wins since June

But eight days before the US Open (August 29-September 11), Caroline Garcia has indeed confirmed that she is the fittest player of the summer, since she has now accumulated 26 victories since the month of June. No one is currently doing better on the circuit.

The Frenchwoman, who successively dismissed three players from the Top 10 in Ohio, Maria Sakkari (3e), Jessica Pegula (8e) and Aryna Sabalenka (7e), has remained faithful to its sharp style, showing an almost permanent aggressiveness. Petra Kvitova, former world number 2 whose qualities in defense and against are proven, had no respondent.

Caroline Garcia, who now has four victories in their nine confrontations, attacked the match very hard by breaking from the start twice (4-0), under a threatening sky. The day before, two rain breaks at 2:30 a.m. and 1:30 a.m. had greatly disrupted her semi-final against Belarusian Aryna Sabalenka.

In total confidence, she maintained this advantage by relying on a solid serve, to win the first set in 40 minutes. In the aftermath, the Frenchwoman tightened the noose again, returning long and holding the exchanges. Petra Kvitova chained unforced errors.

Troublemaker at the US Open?

Led 2-0, the Czech, who seemed to be dragging her leg, requested medical time to treat her left knee. Back on the court, she demonstrated her pugnacity, creating a break point, her fifth of the match, without more success at the end.

Three others showed up, but Caroline Garcia was able to serve well (11 aces) and defend during a long rally, to further push her rival to the fault (4-2). Petra Kvitova’s cry of rage did nothing, she fell on stronger, her rival remaining solid on her commitment to finish the job.

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She never shivered. Except emotion, realizing hands in the face and knees on the ground, his accomplishment. With this convincing performance, Caroline Garcia, who is restoring some color to French tennis, can hope to play spoilsport at the US Open, where she has never been able to do better than a 3rd round, but which she will approach in the skin of a top seed, making a nice leap in the standings.

Just like Petra Kvitova, who has never spent quarters at Flushing Meadows. Even losing in Ohio, she confirms a return to the fore seen in mid-June with her victory on the grass of Eastbourne, after a few years that seemed to mark a decline.

In a context where the world number 1 Iga Swiatek seems to be marking time, after a dizzying spring (37 victories in a row, titled in Doha, Indian Wells, Miami, Stuttgart, Rome and Roland-Garros), they have a nice shot at to play.