Caroline Garcia weathered a mid-match surge from Dominika Cibulkova to make her way into the third round at the Qatar Total Open. The No.7 seed kept the pressure after dropping the second set to win 6-3, 6-7(3), 6-0 after just over two hours.
The win earns her a matchup with either No.11 seed Kristina Mladenovic or Russian qualifier Anna Blinkova. Garcia, playing this week at a career-high ranking of No.7, won their only previous meeting on hardcourts, at 2017 Wuhan in straight sets, before clinching the most prestigious title in her career.Cibulkova struck 17 winners and 25 unforced errors in her vain desire to seal her first win over a Top 10 opponent since 2016 WTA Finals.
Garcia, more attack-minded, hit 12 aces and 45 winners, staying in the positive compared to her 28 errors. No.9 seed Julia Goerges won 100% of the points off her first serve and didn’t face a single break point in the 23-minute opening set.
Easily she completed a 6-1, 7-5 win in just 66 minutes over Lucie Safarova, her 19th in the last 21 matches. “It was a pretty solid first set from my side,” Goerges said in her on-court interview. “I knew that she’s coming from indoors from Fed Cup, so I just tried to be aggressive from the very first point and move her around, and it worked out very well today.”