The Frenchwoman might have thought she was at a practice session with her team as she took on Maria Sharapova at the Rogers Cup third round, playing a feisty game with smooth, basic strategies to win over the Russian 6-3, 6-2.
Sharapova had a lot of spunk and great rallies for her French opponent and she combined some good tactics, to lead in the first set 2-all but the Frenchwoman played a patient game and soon leveled the score to 3-all. She seems to have acquired this virtue in her favor from her first round match with Magdalena Rybarikova when she was down a set and crawled back point by point to win two straight sets and win the match.
Despite Sharapova's good shots, she grew tired and started producing unforced errors working in the French woman's favor to help her win the first set 6-3. The second set was much routine for Garcia who had the ability to mix up her shots, be aggressive and execute drop shots and volleys to perfection.
Sharapova tried but even her huge forehand return at the end floated over the baseline. It took a short while before Garcia won the match and ready to enter the quarterfinals. The fluidness and beautiful shot making Garcia showed in the Sharapova match was nearly invisible when she played the no.
1 Simona Halep. there was a gleamer of brilliant strategies at the beginning of the match when Garcia went up 3-2 and the commentator even remarked that "You can begin to feel that the Garcia momentum is building".
The Frenchwoman continued to lead 4-3 sending a beautifully skilled slice dropshot over the net to an unsuspecting Halep still glued at the baseline. Garcia kept control and dominance until Halep made some great shots to level games at 4-all.
Then it seems like the bottom dropped out of Garcia's game along with self-confidence. "Simona Halep raises her game at just the right time", a commentator said anxiously. But this was going Halep's way as she lead 6-5 and not for long won the first set 7-5.
Many players now would start to correct their mistakes made at the first set, but Garcia's game had started to unravel fast and at 1-all she had netted more shots, missed returns and hit strokes longer than need be.
It became painful for the Frenchwoman's fans to watch. Garcia's focus and strategies had fallen and it wasn't long before Halep showed her no. 1 status leading to her quarterfinal win over Garcia of 7-5, 6-1. The Frenchwoman now will probably head to Cincinnati but she's said it well at Montreal's pre-tournament interview "...Now I just want to play matches and improve on the court...I haven't reached my goals so far and I want to be better".