Caroline Garcia qualified for the semi-finals after her victory over Daria Kasatkina

Home » Caroline Garcia qualified for the semi-finals after her victory over Daria Kasatkina
Caroline Garcia qualified for the semi-finals after her victory over Daria Kasatkina

It was painful, rarely brilliant and it doesn’t matter, in the end. At the end of the suffering and five years later, here she is again in the last four of the Masters. This time, Caroline Garcia is not on cloud nine, brought from Wuhan to Singapore by a masterful Asian tour. In Texas and at 29, the Frenchwoman is in her place, that of a player finally freed from questions about her game and the parasitic thoughts that accompanied them.

Ready, she said, to fetch “something big”, first in Fort Worth then, soon she hopes, elsewhere, even higher. Her extreme positioning on the return, her permanent risk taking and her shovelful net approaches, today, the Lyonnaise assumes them and claims them, brushing aside with the back of her hand the criticisms which, for a long time, destabilized her and pushed to deny.

A storm of inner emotions

So Saturday, against Daria Kasatkina (4-6, 6-1, 7-6 [5]), in the midst of a storm of inner emotions that more than once almost got the better of her, Garcia clung to the certainty that her salvation would come through aggressiveness, the very one that had allowed her to climb, in the heart of the summer of the renaissance, from 78th to 6th place in the world, in particular by winning the WTA 1000 in Cincinnati and reaching his first Grand Slam semi-final at the US Open.

After an hour of playing with his head upside down and his jaw clenched, cackling one out of two forehands, unscrewing second-set volleys and stretching the stick to get beaten, losing fourteen of the last sixteen points of the first set then she was leading 4-2, ball 5-2, “Caro” suddenly regained his bite. After giving a lot, she punished, heavily, and Kasatkina lost her footing.

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This is the first time this season that Daria Kasatkina has lost a match after winning the first set. The Russian had 29 wins out of 29 games.

Cornered, unable to respond to the power of her opponent, the Russian, in turn, tensed. It was the banana, thrown in frustration during a change of sides, for Garcia, it was the racket for “Dasha”, beaten on fifteen of the last eighteen points of a one-sided second set.

Already marked by a few ups and many downs, the match took on an even stronger psychological dimension in the deciding set. Garcia continued to score and foul. Twice, she snatched Kasatkina’s commitment, then at 2-2, but twice, she was caught in stride. The crossover continued and the tug of war became epic at 4-4, a game of thirteen minutes with nine draws.

“It was a crazy game. Even if it was not always very good tennis, I fought until the end”

Caroline Garcia, qualified for the semi-finals of the Masters

At 40-15 on her engagement, the Russian committed two consecutive double faults before the Frenchman managed a splendid backhand lob to get a first break point. The 8th in the world saved her from a no less grandiose backhand passing. On his next two chances, Garcia attempted “50-50” returns that eluded him. In total, the Lyonnaise will miss the opportunity to serve for the match six times.

It all ended up being a tie-break. Kasatkina was the first to strike (2-1, mini-break), but Garcia reacted immediately to lead 5-3 then 6-4. Two points from elimination at 5-4, 30A, a few minutes earlier, the 6th in the world finished the job after an endless exchange concluded at the net. It was well worth a long embrace with his clan. “It was a crazy game. Even if it was not always very good tennis, I fought until the end”rejoiced Garcia who will face the Greek Maria Sakkari in the semi-finals on Sunday.

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