Caroline Garcia Helps Lead France to Fed Cup Title

Caroline Garcia is a Fed Cup champion at last…

The 26-year-old part-Spanish player, who played an integral part in France’s appearance at the Fed Cup finals in 2016, and her doubles partner Kristina Mladenovic, prevailed in the doubles decider to claim a 3-2 victory over Australia in Perth.

Caroline Garcia & Kristina Mladenovic

Garcia and Mladenovic, who won the women’s doubles title together at the French Openin 2016, proved too good for world No. 1 singles player Ashleigh Barty and Samantha Stosur, cruising to a 6-4 6-3 victory on Sunday to secure the nation’s third Fed Cup crown and first since 2003.

Mladenovic earlier stunned Barty 2-6, 6-4, 7-6 (7-1) in an epic two-and-a-half hour singles battle at RAC Arena to put France ahead in the best-of-five rubbers final.

Caroline Garcia & Kristina Mladenovic

French No.1 Mladenovic’s phenomenal weekend, which also included a straight-sets drubbing of Ajla Tomljanovic, proved to be the difference between the two nations.

Mladenovic and Garcia were clinical in the deciding rubber.

Australia managed to save two championship points but it was only a matter of time before Mladenovic fittingly served out the match.

It was sweet redemption for Mladenovic and Garcia, who lost the deciding doubles rubber to the Czech Republicin the 2016 Fed Cup final.

“It’s lots of emotion to share this with Caro after three years ago we failed on the last step of the tie,” Mladenovic said.

“Today we just wanted to take this little revenge for ourselves and it’s just not describable how we feel right now.”

Playing for France at the Fed Cup, Garcia was previously awarded a Heart Awardfor her sportsmanship, after leading her country to the 2016 Fed Cup final, France’s first final since 2005.

Caroline Garcia Helps Lead France into the Fed Cup Semifinals

Caroline Garciahas helped France advance…

The 25-year-old half-Spanish tennis player clinched a 3-0 victory for France over host Belgium after easing past Elise Mertens 6-2, 6-3 to set up a Fed Cup semifinal against defending champion the Czech Republic or Romania.

Caroline Garcia

The Czechs and Romanians split their opening singles in a series in the Czech city of Ostrava.

Garcia marked her return to the Fed Cup for the first time since the 2016 final with a couple of victories after overcoming Alison Van Uytvanck 7-6 (2), 4-6, 6-2 in the opening singles on Saturday.

In Braunschweig, Aryna Sabalenka cruised past Laura Siegemund 6-1, 6-1 to give Belarus an insurmountable 3-0 lead over host Germany in the best-of-five series on an indoor hard court at the Volkswagen Halle.

The ninth-ranked Sabalenka hit 18 winners compared to five for her opponent to help Belarus avenge losing to Germany 3-2 last year in Minsk.

In the final doubles match where the outcome couldn’t change the overall result, Victoria Azarenka teamed up with Lidziya Marozava for Belarus to beat Germany’s pair of Mona Barthel and Anna-Lena Groenefeld 6-1, 0-6, 11-9 to win 4-0 overall.

The Belarusian team that reached the final in 2017 will face the 2018 finalist United States or Australia in the semis in April. The two are tied at 1 after splitting the opening singles in Asheville.

Caroline Garcia Defeats No. 1 Seed Karolina Pliskova to Win Tianjin Open Title

Caroline Garcia is a big winner in China again…

The 24-year-old Spanish-French tennis player outlasted Karolina Pliskova 7-6(7), 6-3 to win the Tianjin Open and earn her first WTA singles title of the season.

Caroline Garcia

After both players held their serves in a tight first set, Garcia, ranked No. 16 in the world, fought from 1-5 down to edge the decisive tiebreak 9-7.

Garcia then won the first five games of the second set before sealing the win over No. 1 seed Pliskova on her serve, winning the match in one hour, 47 minutes.

It’s Garcia’s first WTA title since lifting the Beijing Open in October 2017.

“It’s very nice for me to win a title again, because the emotion and the feeling after the match point is something very special and very difficult to describe,” Garcia told reporters after the match.

“That’s what you’re working on all year long to get, this trophy in your hand and those emotions.”

Carla Suárez Navarro Upsets Caroline Garcia to Reach US Open Fourth Round

Carla Suárez Navarro is back in familiar territory at the US Open..

The 29-year-old Spanish tennis player, seeded No. 30 at Flushing Meadows, fought through a challenging match against No. 6 seed Caroline Garcia, for a 5-7, 6-4, 7-6 (4) victory, and earned a spot in the fourth round of the US Open once again.

Carla Suárez Navarro

“It was really tough,” Suárez Navarro admitted to the press, after the match. “I was a break up in the first set, but I didn’t take my serve then. But every point, every game was so close.”

Suárez Navarro, a US Open quarterfinalist in 2013, has now reached the fourth round in New York for the fifth time in her career, following the nearly two-and-a-half-hour marathon win over Garcia, which was Suárez Navarro’s first win over the French-Latina in their three meetings.

In the fourth round, Suárez Navarro will face 2006 US Open champion and former World No.1 Maria Sharapova.

Caroline Garcia Advances to Seminals at the WTA Finals

Caroline Garcia is making the most of her first WTA Finals appearance…

In her WTA Finals debut, the 26-year-old part-Spanish player advanced to the semifinals on Friday when top-ranked Simona Halep lost to Elina Svitolina.

Caroline Garcia

Garcia defeated Caroline Wozniacki 0-6, 6-3, 7-5 in the early Red Group match, giving both 2-1 records. Wozniacki had already advanced, but Garcia had to wait. When Svitolina beat Halep 6-3, 6-4 later in the day, the top-ranked Romanian was eliminated and Garcia was through as the group winner.

In the semifinals, Garcia will play Venus Williams and Wozniacki will face Karolina Pliskova.

Garcia, playing at a career-high No. 8 ranking after winning back-to-back titles in Wuhan and Beijing, is the only one of the eight players who didn’t have a chance to end the season with the top ranking.

“It was kind of weird, actually, to be here,” Garcia said. “I qualified last minute, two weeks before. I really wanted to keep improving, play every single match and get experience. That’s why I think I won these two matches.

Garbine Muguruza Advances to Semifinals at the Pan Pacific Open

Garbine Muguruza is two wins away from her next WTA title…

The 23-year-old Spanish-Venezuelan tennis player and Wimbledon champion advanced to the semifinals of the Pan Pacific Open by beating Caroline Garcia 6-2, 6-4 Friday.

Garbine Muguruza

A rare double-fault by the top-seede Muguruza allowed Garcia to pull even at 3-3 in the second set, but she broke back in the next game.

Playing in her first tournament since earning the No. 1 ranking, Muguruza will next face Caroline Wozniacki.

The former top-ranked player advanced when Dominika Cibulkova was forced to retire with a right thigh injury while trailing 3-6, 7-6 (5), 3-1.

Also, Angelique Kerber upset second-seeded Karolina Pliskova 7-6 (5), 7-5. The seventh-seeded Kerber took advantage of several unforced errors by the Czech player and won with a powerful cross-court shot on her fifth match point.

Kerber will face Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova in the semifinals. The Russian beat Barbora Strycova 5-7, 6-3, 6-1.

Nadal to Compete at the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio

It appears Rafael Nadal will be swinging for gold this summer…

The 30-year-old Spanish tennis star’s name appears on the final entry list for the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio.

Rafael Nadal

Nadal, a 14-time Grand Slam tournament champion hasn’t played since pulling out of the French Open because of an injured left wrist and needed the International Tennis Federation‘s Olympic Committee to approve his appeal because he hasn’t played Davis Cup.

Nadal won the gold medal at the 2008 Beijing Games.

But Nadal isn’t the only Latino player set to compete at the 2016 Rio Games.

Twelve Latino players, including 2012 London Games bronze medalist Juan Martin del Potro, will compete in the men’s singles tournament.

In the women’s draw, six Latinas will be competing in singles, including French Open champion Garbine Muguruza, who will also compete in the doubles draw.

Half-Spanish tennis star Caroline Garcia, who won the women’s doubles title at this year’s French Open, will also compete in singles and doubles for France.

In all, here will be 64 players in the singles draws and 32 in doubles. Singles entries were based off the top 56 players in the June 6 rankings, with other ways to qualify for the final eight spots.

Each country is allowed a maximum of four singles players and two doubles teams for six players total on the men’s and women’s sides. Sixteen mixed doubles teams will be determined in Rio from players already in the Olympics.

Here’s the list of Latino players expected to compete:

MEN’S SINGLES ENTRY LIST

Argentina
Juan Martin del Potro, Federico Delbonis, Juan Monaco, Guido Pella

Brazil
Thomaz Bellucci, Rogerio Dutra Silva 

Dominican Republic
Victor Estrella Burgos 

Spain
Rafael Nadal, David Ferrer, Roberto Bautista Agut, Albert Ramos-Vinolas

Uruguay
Pablo Cuevas 

WOMEN’S SINGLES ENTRY LIST

Brazil
Teliana Pereira (ITF) 

France
Caroline Garcia 

Paraguay
Veronica Cepede Royg (TRI) 

Puerto Rico
Monica Puig 

Spain
Garbine Muguruza, Carla Suarez Navarro  

MEN’S DOUBLES ENTRY LIST

Argentina
Juan Martin del Potro/Maximo Gonzalez, Federico Delbonis/Guillermo Duran

Brazil
Marcelo Melo/Bruno Soares, Thomaz Bellucci/Andre Sa (ITF)

Chile
Julio Peralta/Hans Podlipnik (ITF) 

Colombia
Juan Sebastian Cabal/Robert Farah

Spain
Marc Lopez/Rafael Nadal, Roberto Bautista Agut/David Ferrer 

WOMEN’S DOUBLES ENTRY LIST

Brazil
Paula Cristina Goncalves/Teliana Pereira (ITF) 

France
Caroline Garcia [paired with Kristina Mladenovic] 

Spain
Garbine Muguruza/Carla Suarez Navarro, Anabel Medina Garrigues/Arantxa Parra-Santonja

 

Muguruza: The Higest-Seeded Latina at This Year’s Wimbledon

If all goes her way, Garbine Muguruza will most certainly get a rematch with Serena Williams in the Wimbledon finals…

The 22-year-old Spanish-Venezuelan professional tennis player, who lost to the World No. 1 tennis player 4-6, 4-6 in last year’s final, is seeded No. 2 for this year’s tournament at the All-England Club.

Garbine Muguruza

Muguruza, who bested Williams at the French Open to win the first Grand Slam title of her career, cannot face Serena, seeded No.1, until the final at Wimbledon, since they’re both in separate halves of the draw.

Seedings were based on the current world rankings but rearranged to reflect players’ grass-court achievements.

Muguruza is the highest-seeded Hispanic player on the women’s and men’s side. She’s followed by Spain’s Carla Suarez Navarro at No. 13 and Caroline Garcia, who recently won her first-ever title on grass at the Mallorca Open, at No. 31.

Spain’s David Ferrer is the highest-seeded player on the men’s side at No. 13. He’s followed by Spain’s Roberto Bautista Agut at No. 14, Spain’s Feliciano Lopez at No. 22 and Uruguay’s Pablo Cuevas at No. 29.

Play at the third Grand Slam of the year starts Monday.

GENTLEMEN’S SINGLES
1 DJOKOVIC, Novak (SRB)
2 MURRAY, Andy (GBR)
3 FEDERER, Roger (SUI)
4 WAWRINKA, Stan (SUI)
5 NISHIKORI, Kei (JPN)
6 RAONIC, Milos (CAN)
7 GASQUET, Richard (FRA)
8 THIEM, Dominic (AUT)
9 CILIC, Marin (CRO)
10 BERDYCH, Tomas (CZE)
11 GOFFIN, David (BEL)
12 TSONGA, Jo-Wilfried (FRA)
13 FERRER, David (ESP)
14 BAUTISTA AGUT, Roberto (ESP)
15 KYRGIOS, Nick (AUS)
16 SIMON, Gilles (FRA)
17 MONFILS, Gael (FRA)
18 ISNER, John (USA)
19 TOMIC, Bernard (AUS)
20 ANDERSON, Kevin (RSA)
21 KOHLSCHREIBER, Philipp (GER)
22 LOPEZ, Feliciano (ESP)
23 KARLOVIC, Ivo (CRO)
24 ZVEREV, Alexander (GER)
25 TROICKI, Viktor (SRB)
26 PAIRE, Benoit (FRA)
27 SOCK, Jack (USA)
28 QUERREY, Sam (USA)
29 CUEVAS, Pablo (URU)
30 DOLGOPOLOV, Alexandr (UKR)
31 SOUSA, Joao (POR)
32 POUILLE, Lucas (FRA)

LADIES’ SINGLES
1 WILLIAMS, Serena (USA)
2 MUGURUZA, Garbine (ESP)
3 RADWANSKA, Agnieszka (POL)
4 KERBER, Angelique (GER)
5 HALEP, Simona (ROU)
6 AZARENKA, Victoria (BLR)
7 VINCI, Roberta (ITA)
8 BENCIC, Belinda (SUI)
9 WILLIAMS, Venus (USA)
10 KEYS, Madison (USA)
11 KVITOVA, Petra (CZE)
12 BACSINSZKY, Timea (SUI)
13 SUAREZ NAVARRO, Carla (ESP)
14 KUZNETSOVA, Svetlana (RUS)
15 STOSUR, Samantha (AUS)
16 PLISKOVA, Karolina (CZE)
17 KONTA, Johanna (GBR)
18 SVITOLINA, Elina (UKR)
19 STEPHENS, Sloane (USA)
20 CIBULKOVA, Dominika (SVK)
21 ERRANI, Sara (ITA)
22 PAVLYUCHENKOVA, Anastasia (RUS)
23 JANKOVIC, Jelena (SRB)
24 IVANOVIC, Ana (SRB)
25 STRYCOVA, Barbora (CZE)
26 BEGU, Irina-Camelia (ROU)
27 BERTENS, Kiki (NED)
28 VANDEWEGHE, Coco (USA)
29 SAFAROVA, Lucie (CZE)
30 KASATKINA, Daria (RUS)
31 GARCIA, Caroline (FRA)
32 MLADENOVIC, Kristina (FRA)

Garcia Wins First-Ever Title on Grass at the Mallorca Open

Caroline Garcia is kicking serious grass, just in time for Wimbledon

The 22-year-old part-Spanish tennis player hit an ace on match point to close out a 6-3, 6-4 victory on Sunday over Latvia’s Anastasija Sevastova in the Mallorca Open final and claim her first-ever title on grass.

Caroline Garcia

Things turned in Garcia’s favor starting in the seventh game of the match, when she reeled off three games in a row to take the first set.

Sevastova, who had had to spend a night in the hospital earlier in the week due to a stomach virus, continued to battle in the second set but was hurt by her low first-serve percentage – 41 percent – and also was unable to make any impression on Garcia’s service games.

Caroline Garcia
Garcia, the tournament’s sixth seed, defeated former World No. 1 Ana Ivanovic in the quarterfinals and former Wimbledon finalist Kirsten Flipkens in the semifinals to reach her first final on grass.

It’s Garcia’s second singles title of the year, the third of her career.

Garcia, whose two previous WTA Tour titles had both come on clay, said afterward that she felt comfortable in Mallorca because the ball bounces higher and skids less at this tournament than other grass-court events.

She will now look to keep her momentum going at tennis’ premier grass-court showcase, Wimbledon, which gets under way on June 27.

Garcia Reaches Her First Career Grass-Court Final at the Mallorca Open

It’s a new first for Caroline Garcia

The 22-year-old part-Spanish tennis player advanced to her first grass-court final by beating Kirsten Flipkens of Belgium 6-4, 4-6, 6-1 on Saturday at the Mallorca Open.

Caroline Garcia

Garcia, the tournament’s No. 6 seed, had seven aces and won 84 percent of first-service points against Flipkens, a 2013 Wimbledon semifinalist.

In the final, Garcia will face Anastasija Sevastova of Latvia, who defeated second-seeded Jelena Jankovic in the other semifinal, 4-6, 6-1, 6-2.

Garcia has been on a roll in recent weeks, winning her first title of the year on clay at Strasbourg and then teaming with Kristina Mladenovic to capture the French Open doubles title, her first Grand Slam title.