Caroline Garcia closes out her remarkable six-month period Tennis In career form she won the WTA Finals against Aryna Sabalenka in Fort Worth, Texas with a 7–6 6–4 victory.
Garcia was outside the top 70 in the world rankings as recently as June, but has since enjoyed a run of excellent form, which culminated in the biggest title of her career on Monday.
“Definitely a huge pleasure” was how the 29-year-old described her feelings after overcoming Sabalenka in straight sets – taking the first set in a tie-break, then breaking her opponent in the opening game of the second set.
With the win, Garcia became the second French player since Amélie Mauresmo in 2005 to win the season-ending tournament of the WTA Tour.
It also sees him reach a career high position of No. 4 in the world rankings and take home $1.57 million in prize money.
In a close first set, Garcia put in a ruthless serving performance – hitting 10 aces and winning 81.5% of her first-serve points – and came to net with good effect.
Sabalenka, who ousted the world number one team har swotec produced three aces in reply, but saw his serve undone with two double faults in the tie-break, one of which cost Garcia the first set, to earn a spot in Monday’s final.
It has been a familiar story for Sabalenka’s season with the Belarusian registering 425 double faults in total; According to the WTA website, no other player has finished in the 300s this year.
In the first game of the second set, Garcia broke Sabalenka with a powerful forehand return, setting up her first break point of the contest, then proceeded to serve for the match and seal her fourth title since June.
“With this tournament I feel like I’ve really gotten better and better from match to match,” Garcia told Tennis Channel while sporting a Texan cowboy hat.
Despite the loss against Swiatek the previous week, Garcia defeated Sabalenka in the final to win against Coco Gauff, Daria Kasatkina and Maria Sakkari.