WUHAN, September 30, 2017 (Press Release)
Caroline Garcia is the new Dongfeng Motor Wuhan Open champion after beating Ashleigh Barty 6-7(3), 7-6(4), 6-2 in a compelling two-hour-44 minute match to win the biggest title of her career. This was the fourth career title for the 23-year-old Frenchwoman but her first Premier 5 trophy and the biggest victory by a Frenchwoman since Marion Bartoli won the 2013 Wimbledon title.
Garcia had to battle against a determined challenge from 21-year-old Barty, who served for the match in the second set having dug deep to win the first. Garcia, though, clawed her way out of trouble and was always ahead in the second set tiebreaker before levelling the match. Having done so, Garcia then began to accelerate away.
“Right now I just feel very happy and proud of my fight of today, proud of all the work we did. To win a title, it’s always something very special. Premier 5, it’s even better,” said Garcia. “You can’t let it go, you have to fight till the end. That’s why you train hard, to play these kind of moments. Even if you lost, doesn’t matter, you have to fight until the end and find the solution. You don’t find the solution, fine, you have to keep working.”
Barty can console herself with a breakthrough week and a run to the biggest final of her young career. Barty only returned to tennis at the start of this season after taking a break. This beat she beat four top twenty players, including Johanna Konta, Agnieszka Radwanska, Karolina Pliskova and Jelena Ostapenko before running into Garcia.
“I put myself in a position where I could win the match, and tonight I couldn’t finish it off, which is disappointing,” said Barty. “For us, still a hell of a week, probably the best week of my tennis career. So, yeah, we move on and we live and learn. I’ve known Cara for a very long time. It’s always good to see her face around the locker room. She’s a genuine friend of mine. It’s nice to play your friends and see them having success. Obviously I would like to be holding up that trophy, but it’s not meant to be tonight.”
The fillip of 900 ranking points Garcia receives for winning Wuhan significantly strengthens her chances of qualifying for the WTA Elite Trophy in Zhuhai. Players ranked 9 and below on October 23th qualify for the year-end event, which starts on October 31st. Garcia will be ranked 14 when updated standings for Zhuhai are released on Monday.
Garcia’s road to the title:
Defeated Angelique Kerber, Christina McHale, Dominika Cibulkova, Ekaterina Makarova, Maria Sakkari and Ashleigh Barty.
Previous singles champions in Wuhan:
2014 Petra Kvitova
2015 Venus Williams
2016 Petra Kvitova
2017 Caroline Garcia
Martina Hingis and Tapei’s Yung-Jan Chan won the doubles title with a 7-6(5) 3-6 10-4 win over Shuko Aoyama of Japan and China’s Zhaoxuan Yang. This marked Hingis’ third Wuhan Open title with three different partners – she also won in 2014 with Flavia Pennetta and 2015 with Sania Mirza. Hingis will return to World No.1 in doubles when the new rankings are released on Monday.