«One game at a time, one set at a time,» Caroline Garcia described her rise from No. 79 in the world rankings in June to the now spectacular No. 4. She knew that to win the WTA Finals in straight sets of 7 – 6, 6-4 against Aryna Sabalenka, all their tactics and strategies had to come together to defeat the top 7 players in the world.
The competition was tough, but Garcia left it all on the field to succeed. The final was, in fact, the most important title of his career, but he honed his skills and shined on different levels more than any professional tennis player in the world.
He has won 36 matches since June, but four was his magic number as he captured four titles on four different playing surfaces. Garcia had won Bad Homburg on grass, Warsaw on red clay, Cincinnati outdoors on hard courts, and the WTA Indoor Finals on hard.
It seems that the turning point in Caroline’s success was winning the doubles title with Kristina Mladenovic at Roland-Garros in May. She was constantly improving in her singles matches and remained focused on maintaining her consistency after that.
Garcia thanked her team for helping her achieve her goals, saying, «We decided to do what I do best» when it comes to playing super aggressive and fast on the competitive court. The Frenchwoman slipped and cut her way past eight of the top 10 players and took down the world number one.
1 Iga Swiatek twice in his six-month career. «It’s been phenomenal to watch the rise of Caroline Garcia,» says Tennis Channel commentator and former player Chanda Rubin. Garcia’s formula for success cannot be confined to a single strategy.
It was his adaptation to the styles of different players and his quick learning to break his performance pattern to win points and games in a big way. The ability to play consistently but aggressively was the recipe Garcia learned to dominate his opponents.
She had left 18-year-old Coco Gauff frustrated, Swiatek simply disgusted and Maria Sakkari shaking her head at being unable to overpower and outwit the versatile Frenchwoman. It takes skill and magnitude to fit each player’s mantra like Garcia had.
Especially in the championship round, defeating Aryna Sabalenka in that tug of war over who would win the final points. Commentator Chanda Rubin had observed the magic of Garcia’s success in «Don’t Let Sabalenka Restart…»
There were times when the Belarusian became the more aggressive, but Caroline kept hitting, causing Aryna to hit that ball more. «I tried to move her and it worked,» Caroline said with a wide smile as she was interviewed at the announcer’s desk after her win.
Sabalenka agreed with Garcia’s techniques and looked at Caroline with envious eyes and said, «You played amazing tennis tonight.» The Frenchwoman also returned Sabalenka with a compliment, saying: ‘You were a great fighter.’
Both players know that the outcome could have been very different, but what is needed is to be defiant. Caroline admitted to her opponents’ on-court performances and her own that «Sometimes you try, but you miss it…I didn’t.»
Chanda Rubin summed up Garcia’s remarkable play in the commentary box by saying, «This is his moment. He played with all his heart. He deserves it.» New World No.4 Caroline Garcia acknowledged her own transformation and after winning the WTA crown she said: «I would like to thank all the people who made me a better person and a better player.»
Caroline’s confidence and skills have skyrocketed and for sure the upcoming 2023 season will truly be something highly anticipated not only by all the fans and the tennis community but also by Caroline Garcia herself.