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By Chris Oddo | Wednesday October 25, 2017

 
Caroline Garcia

Caroline Garcia rebounded from a frustrating first set to topple Elina Svitolina in an epic in Singapore.

Photo Source: Clive Brunskill/Getty

Nerves jangled, emotions on display, it felt like things were going to end badly for Caroline Garcia after she squandered two set points to drop the first set against Elina Svitolina.

More: Halep Hammered by Wozniacki in Singapore

But the Frenchwoman dug down deep and shook loose of her own expectations, hit freely and overcame the Ukrainian, engineering a dramatic 6-7(7), 6-3, 7-5 victory to keep her in contention for a semifinal berth in the Red Group at the WTA Finals in Singapore.

The story of the WTA’s Asian Swing appears ready to write another compelling chapter. Garcia reeled off 11 straight matches in Wuhan and Beijing to qualify for Singapore at the eleventh hour. After a lackluster match and a half this week, she appears ready to make a push for the title.


It’s the second time that Garcia has come back from a set down to defeat Svitolina this month. She struck 58 winners to 31 for Svitolina and broke seven times on 16 opportunities to come through in two hours and 44 minutes.

“It was a battle on every single point and I’m just happy to be through,” she told Andrew Krazny on court after the match. “Even when I was down I kept believing. Everything went so fast for me and I was very stressed to be here but now I enjoy it and it’s the best moment.”

Garcia had a golden opportunity to take the first set but missed on two set points in the first-set breaker. The second was a head-scratcher, as she completely muffed a swing volley when she had the whole court to hit into.

But to her credit, she found her resolve after an emotional on-court coaching session with her father Louis-Paul, and found the courage to play uninhibited tennis down the stretch.


She needed to. With the feisty Svitolina up a break and serving for the match with a 5-3 lead in the decider, Garcia played a brilliant return game to break at love—and she never looked back.

The World No.8 reeled off the final four games in total, and dropped a disappointed Svitolina to 0-2 on the week in Singapore. Garcia will next face Caroline Wozniacki in round robin play. The Dane hammered Simona Halep earlier on Wednesday to become the first player from the Red Group to book her spot in the semis.

Wozniacki owns a 2-0 lifetime edge over Garcia and she has taken all four sets, but the pair have not met since 2015.

“I know it’s going to be another battle against Caroline so I’m looking forward.”

 

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