A first meeting produces love and success for Caroline Garcia



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A first meeting produces love and success for Caroline Garcia

"It was a fight (for) every point from the first to the last one," Caroline Garcia said defiantly in her battle with Bianca Andreescu at the Bad Homburg final in Germany. Garcia was putting in great shots in the opening set and pulled it into a tiebreak, but it began slipping out of her hands with Andreescu winning the first set.

Many players would get discouraged by the opening result, but Caroline had great belief in her strategies and toughness to be consistent in the second set. Despite the Canadian's blistering forehands and pungent shotmaking, the Frenchwoman started her gritty playing to win the second set 6-4 after constantly trailing in games.

This was the first time the two women have ever met in their careers but they both had something to prove after three years of coming up with a blank title slate. Andreescu's last final win happened in 2019 as she won the US Open from Serena Williams.

Garcia also had a tough and distraught three years after winning the 2019 Nottingham event over Croatia's Donna Vekic. The first few months of the season proved disheartening for the Frenchwoman as she bowed at the opening rounds of the Australian Open and the Dubai event.

She would go deep into the semifinal of the Lyon Open in her home country but wasn't able to find the magic at Indian Wells and Miami. The other tournaments including the French Open weren't very successful giving Garcia more doubts as to when will she be consistent enough to make a difference in this season? Packing her bags to go to Germany, the Bad Homburg tournament was bittersweet as she remembered three years ago winning at Nottingham.

It didn't happen this time. It was her opening and second round wins against Aliaksandra Sasnovich and Kamilla Rakhimova which began proving to the Frenchwoman that she can regain skills that once became frequent to her style.

She'd blasted 12 aces in the Sasnovich match and 13 with Kamilla that gave her confidence to do better as each round passed at the Bad Homburg. It was Caroline's aggressiveness and determination that made the difference and she'd win a diligent tiebreak over a comrade Frenchwoman Alize Cornet to seal the matches on the road to the final.

Grass is so much different and difficult for some to master but Garcia felt proud to remember her last titles. They were on grass three years ago at Nottingham and in 2016 at Mallorca. She wanted to make this event, three times the charm and showed her aggressiveness to Andreescu that couldn't be forgotten.

The sets were leveled, Garcia's formula was working as she fought through the Canadian's crosscourts and down-the-lines to focus on tight angles to lead and win the deciding set 6-4. Andreescu's bombing forehand spun long, giving the Frenchwoman the match and title she never thought would happen as she plunck down on the rough grass, holding her face in disbelief.

As each player talked a bit at the trophy presentation segment, Bianca gave kudos to Caroline saying "she fought really hard" The Canadian woman had admitted this was her first final on grass and said "I'm glad how my game is evolving on grass"

But Caroline Garcia was humble and holding tight onto the trophy mentioned that "When you win a title, you never know when will be the next one"