Caroline Garcia capped a remarkable six-month run in her tennis career when she won the WTA Finals with a 7-6, 6-4 victory over Aryna Sabalenka in Fort Worth, Texas.
Garcia was outside the top 70 in the world rankings until June, but has enjoyed a superb run of form since then, culminating in the biggest title of his career on Monday.
“Definitely, a lot of giant happiness” is how the 29-year-old described her emotions after overcoming Sabalenka in straight sets – taking the first set in a tie break and then breaking her opponent in the first game of the second set.
The win makes Garcia the second French player to win the WTA Tour’s season-ending tournament after Amelie Mauresmo in 2005.
It also sees her rise to a career-high position of no. 4th in the world ranking and took home $1.57 million in prize money.
In a tight first set, Garcia produced a ruthless serving performance, hitting 10 aces and winning 81.5% of her first serve points, and coming to the net to good effect.
Sabalenka, who had been ranked No. 1 in the world. 1 Iga Swiatek to earn a place in Monday’s final, hit three aces in response but also saw her serve slip away with two double faults in the tie break, including one to give Garcia the first set
It has been the familiar story of Sabalenka’s season with the Belarusian registering 425 double faults in total; no other player has finished at 300 this year, according to the WTA website.
In the first game of the second set, Garcia broke Sabalenka with a powerful forehand return after having established the first break point of the contest, then proceeded to serve out the match and seal her fourth title since June.
“With this tournament I think from match to match I’ve been playing better and better,” Garcia told Tennis Channel while sporting a Texan cowboy hat.
Despite losing to Swiatek last week, Garcia reeled off wins against Coco Gauff, Daria Kasatkina and Maria Sakkari en route to beating Sabalenka in the final.