Tennis

Garcia advances into new territory

Caroline Garcia hailed the French crowds for their role in her three set victory over Wu-Sei Hsieh.
Caroline Garcia hailed the French crowds for their role in her three set victory over Wu-Sei Hsieh. RFI/Pierre-René Worms

Caroline Garcia moved into the fourth round of a Grand Slam tournament for the first time on Saturday after a gutsy comeback against Su-Wei Hsieh. The 28th seed served for the match at 5-3 up in the decider. She was two points from victory but fell apart. Hsieh eventually levelled at 5-5 and broke Garcia to lead 6-5.

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But the 31-year-old from Taipei squandered her chance to serve out and eventually faltered to give Garcia passage into the last 16.

“It's a very important milestone,” said the 23-year-old. “Especially given the fact it's here in the French Open and being a French player, it is tremendous. But of course if it happened at any other Grand Slam tournament I would say just the same thing.”

Garcia, the second best ranked Frenchwoman behind 13th seed Kristina Mladenovic, came into the tournament after struggling with back problems for most of the year.

"All victories are beautiful,” she added. “But indeed, when you have particularly difficult moments, it feels maybe even better. I think I had somewhat lost myself. I couldn't really be myself anymore. I lost my game a little bit. I was less combative.”

She will need all her mettle for her next battle. She will face her unseeded compatriot Alizé Cornet for a place in the last eight.

There will be a spicy hinterland too. Relations between the pair are frosty after a row over Garcia’s refusal to appear for France in the international team competition, the Fed Cup and a caustic tweet signed by Cornet and other Fed Cup team members over her injuries. “I’m unlikely to have a coffee with her before Monday’s match or after,” Garcia said.

 

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