how Caroline Garcia found the right recipe to come back to the fore

how Caroline Garcia found the right recipe to come back to the fore

Caroline Garcia has changed. As the US Open opens on Monday August 29, the Frenchwoman, who has gone from 79th to 17th place in the world in three months, is one of the serious outsiders to lift the trophy in New York. Since June, the 28-year-old Frenchwoman has had her best season.

After a diet of three years without a title, in the space of three months she won the ladies’ doubles at Roland-Garros with Kristina Mladenovic, two WTA 250s, in Bad Homburg (grass) and Warsaw (clay), before finish in apotheosis by winning his third WTA 1000 in Cincinnati (Ohio). She even became the first player to win a tournament of this rank after qualifying. She is also the only one this year to have won on three different surfaces.

Since June, the former world number 4 (in 2018) has accumulated 27 victories, including four against members of the top 10. No one is currently doing better on the circuit. For comparison, since 2019, she had beaten only one top 10 player, Czech Karolina Pliskova, then seeded No. 1 at the US Open in 2020.

In recent months, Caroline Garcia has found pleasure and a smile on the court. First, she got rid of her injuries, including the many injuries she had on her back and feet. “Physically, I came back in good health, even if there were always small glitches, it was much better and every week I was more and more solid”, explained Caroline Garcia at the microphone of franceinfo, the day after her victory in Ohio. Above all, she swept away her doubts. “It is true that in recent years there have been doubts and complicated moments and few victories”, recognized the player.

“Since the beginning of the year, there has really been a lot of work done and a great positive mentality from my whole team to move forward. It didn’t pay off right away, there were physical glitches, but at the as things developed.”

Caroline Garcia, 17th player in the world

at franceinfo: sport

This newfound confidence is the result of a change of team. In November 2021, the Ile-de-France decided to change coach, she who had been coached by her father, Louis-Paul Garcia, since her debut. From now on, she relies on Bertrand Perret, the former coach of her compatriot Paul-Henri Mathieu or the Tunisian Ons Jabeur5th in the WTA.

Caroline Garcia during her final won in Cincinnati on August 21, 2022 and surrounded by her new team, her coach Bertrand Perret and her physical trainer Laura Legoupil.  (MAXPPP)

To complete her team, she now also counts on Laura Legoupil, her physical trainer and physiotherapist who follows her on a daily basis. “I have a permanent follow-up at the physical level with Laura to have a course of action, and to find solutions in particular with regard to my feet, which have caused me problems for the past two years”, specified Garcia in the columns of The TeamAugust 22.

Less than a year after this change, she is already reaping the fruits of this work. “At some point, you realize that time passes, and that you have to focus on certain things. Then you believe in your style of play and you go all out”, she told franceinfo before adding: “My ideas are clearer. When I’m on the court, I know what I have to do. All the work done on the court, in training and off, has paid off”, rejoiced Caroline Garcia again.

Gone are the days when Garcia left the court with his head down, face tense, too often suffering the game of his opponent almost with fatality. The Frenchwoman has regained her aggressiveness and sharpness. More reactive on the court, she also adorned herself with a more striking and varied service, offering her for example 11 aces and 82% of points behind her first ball during her final in Cincinnati against Petra Kvitova. The presence of his physical trainer, by his side on a daily basis, is no stranger to this new attitude.

Could his radiant summer be the beginnings of a new career? In any case, the signals point in this direction. Confident and in the form of her life, Caroline Garcia hopes to shine at the US Open. No Frenchwoman has ever triumphed there. And since Mary Pierce in 2005, no Habs have reached the final.

If Garcia has never gone beyond the third round in New York, she could well prove herself a little more during this 2022 edition. And why not dream of a first Grand Slam title, “The objective of [sa] career”. “External expectations are something I don’t like and will never like, but this time I feel ready”, she advanced in The Team August 22. Caroline Garcia therefore seems ready to assume her new status.

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