After flying for a long time and very high, Caroline Garcia experienced a brutal comeback on Thursday evening. The French played the first Grand Slam semi-final of her career. Badly returned to her meeting and less in her legs, she was sharply beaten by the Tunisian Ons Jabeur, winner in two sets (6-1, 6-3 in 1h06). The Tunisian will play, after Wimbledon, her second Major final this year. She had lost the first against Elena Rybakina.
Garcia had twirled since the start of his fortnight at the US Open. Thursday, she stammered her tennis from the first moments of the match. Visibly tense by this first at this level, the Frenchwoman only very rarely succeeded in releasing this arm which had been all the rage in the previous rounds. Not mistreated by the opposing ball, Jabeur recited his score made up of very long balls, disconcerting backhand slices and aces delivered to the eighth.
The mayonnaise was quickly indigestible for Garcia, broken on the first game with four unforced errors including a high volley of forehand which ended its race in the bottom of the net. She gave up her serve a second time at 3-1 and then again at 5-1 to offer the first set. Only twenty-three minutes had passed and the Frenchwoman could not count on her usual weapons: her first did not hurt the Tunisian who read her zones very well, her blows came out of her racket less frankly and, in return, even if she advanced more and more, she couldn’t find the right rhythm.
Zero break point for Garcia
On her first ace, slammed at the start of the second set, the Frenchwoman tried to free herself, letting out a loud cry and clenching her fist. She won her face-off but lost the next one at 1-2. Faced with a less skilful Tunisian in service (only 35% of firsts in this second act for her), Garcia tried her luck at 1-3. Successful at the net since the start of the match, she went up three times behind her returns. She took the point twice and, on her third attempt, Jabeur’s shot grazed the net, knocking the ball out of her racquet. The world No. 5 sent a little kiss to the sky. Even less well, she had the fate in her favor.
Garcia had just lost his only chance to get closer on his opponent’s serve. But on this game, as on the whole match, she never managed to get a break point. And if she held her service afterwards, she never caught up and did not manage to reverse this meeting. The 28-year-old Frenchwoman leaves New York on this elimination in the semi-finals after having lived the best course of her Grand Slam career and assumed a resolutely offensive game. Jabeur, she can still exceed her best mark in Major. For that, she needs the title that she will dispute against Iga Swiatek or Aryna Sabalenka.