Calm Caroline Garcia comes full circle as she ends year with WTA Finals trophy and $1.57m check

Caroline Garcia Happy Credit: Alamy

Caroline Garcia Happy Credit: Alamy

Andy Murray once predicted that Caroline Garcia “will one day be number one in the world” and while she may not have realized that prediction yet, she is delivering on the court again after a few years in the desert.

In May 2011, Murray said on Twitter “The girl [Maria] sharapova playing is going to be number one in the world one day caroline garcia, which player you heard here first.

Eleven years later, Garcia is on the rise again after winning the biggest title of her career, the WTA Finals, with a 7-6 (7-4), 6-4 win over Aryna Sabalenka.

Garcia was just 17 when Murray made the prediction and she rose through the ranks as in 2014 she won her first WTA singles title and three years later won two WTA 1000 events.

In 2018, she sat at a career-high 4th in the WTA rankings, but her form soon began to dip and three years later she finished the 2021 season at a disappointing 74.

But things started to click again in the second half of the 2022 season as she won her first three-year title in June, the Bad Homburg Open, reached the fourth round of Wimbledon and followed it up with a another title, the Polish Open.

Still, better things were yet to come as she won her third WTA 1000 title at the Cincinnati Open before reaching the US Open semifinals to move back into the top 10.

Despite her late-season form, she was not considered one of the favorites for the WTA Finals, but she was the last woman standing after beating Aryna Sabalenka in Monday’s final in Texas.

She cruised through the group stage with two wins – only losing to top seed Iga Swiatek – before overtaking Maria Sakkari in the semi-finals.

Sabalenka put up a brilliant fight in the first set as neither player faced a break point and the seventh seed then took the first mini-break in the tiebreaker.

The Frenchwoman, however, fought back and edged the tiebreaker before a break in the first game of the second set secured victory.

“Today was an amazing final, so much intensity on every point,” she said after her win.

“I’m very proud of how I was able to keep my mind calm and really focus on one point at a time, one game at a time.”

Garcia cashed a check for $1.57 million and added 1,375 points to his rankings to move up to No. 4 and, while Swiatek remains comfortable at No. 1, there’s no reason why. the Frenchwoman cannot progress further in the coming year.

It’s been a long journey for the 29-year-old, but it’s not over yet.

“To all the people I have been able to share the past of this trophy,” she said. “I met a lot of people along the way. Some people are here, some people who met me when I was a 12-year-old girl.

“I took memories, and I took positives from all those experiences and I would like to thank all those experiences that made me a better person and a better player.”

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