Garcia: The Unofficial MVP During France’s Fed Cup Matches Against the United States

Caroline Garcia is having a banner year… And, she’s got this week’s Fed Cup results to prove it.

The 20-year-old half-Spanish tennis player almost singlehandedly led France to a 3-2 upset of the United States in the international Fed Cup competition on Sunday.

Caroline Garcia

Garcia had a hand in all three of her country’s victories. She beat the USA’s Madison Keys and Sloane Stephens in singles matches early in the meet before joining teammate Virginie Razzano to win the decisive doubles match.

“I’m not sure what I’m doing differently,” she said. “I don’t know. I guess it’s working, so I’ll try to keep doing it, whatever it is.”

France qualified for the World Group in 2015 and will compete for the Fed Cup championship.

The USA is relegated to World Group II for next year.

Garcia and Razzano beat Stephens and Keys 6-2, 7-5 in the fifth and deciding match of the best-of-five, two-day competition held at Chaifetz Arena on the campus of Saint Louis University.

Garcia, ranked 51st in the world, came from out of nowhere to capture her first WTA championships in winning both the singles and double titles in the Claro Open Colsanitas in Bogota, Columbia, on April 13.

She carried the momentum from those victories into the Fed Cup.

“She was totally amazing, unbelievable,” France captain Amelie Mauresmo said. “She really rose to the occasion and was fearless.”

Garcia and Razzano used a pair of nifty passing shots to break Stephens’ serve in the 11th game of the second set. The pair won the lengthy 14-point game to take a 6-5 lead. Razzano then served out the match.

Garcia began her run by beating Stephens 6-3, 6-2 in the opening match on Saturday.

“She was the star of the weekend,” USA captain Mary Jo Fernandez said. “I never thought that she got nervous in any of the matches. She’s really aggressive and it’s all coming together.”

France played Sunday without its top player, Alize Cornet, who suffered a groin injury in a three-set loss to Keys on Saturday.

Fernandez took a chance on using Keys and Stephens in the series-deciding doubles match. The duo of Lauren Davis and Christina McHalewas originally slated to play.

But Fernandez chose to go with the two singles players even though they were coming off tough matches earlier in the day. Keys had just 35 minutes of rest after her loss to Garcia.

“I was trying to go with the players that had big weapons and (could) impose their game on the French,” Fernandez said.

Said Keys: “Not very often do you finish a match and go out again (35) minutes later. I was a little bit more tired.”

Garcia stuns Former World No. 1 Jelena Jankovic to Claim Her First-Ever WTA Title

The first time’s the charm for Caroline Garcia

Competing in her first-ever WTA title match, the 20-year-old half-Spanish tennis player from France defeated defending champion and former World No. 1 Jelena Jankovic in straight sets at the Copa Claro Colsanitas  in Colombia on Sunday.

Caroline Garcia

With her 6-3, 6-4 triumph over Jankovic, Garcia has captured the first WTA title of her professional career.

It was the first win against a Top 10 player for Garcia, who turned pro in 2011.

Jankovic broke in the first game of the match, but the Garcia, ranked No. 5 in the tournament, took over from there, breaking right back. After that, she never fell behind again, taking six of the next eight games to take the first set.

Then, Garcia broke early in the second set en route to a 3-1 lead. Jankovic caught up to 3-all but Garcia broke again and eventually served out the match, firing back-to-back aces to bring up match point before hitting a phenomenal forehand winner for the victory.

Going into the match, Garcia was 0-6 lifetime against Top 10 players.

But Garcia’s winning ways didn’t end there…

Before winning her first WTA singles title, Garcia partnered with Lara Arruabarrena to claim the doubles title.

Garcia became the first player in nearly two years to pull off a singles-doubles sweep at a WTA-level event with Serena Williams being the last one at the Olympics.

Garcia Defeats Vania King to Reach Her First WTA Women’s Final

Caroline Garcia is one win away from the first Women’s Tennis Association (WTA) title of her promising professional career…

The 20-year-old half-Spanish tennis player from France, currently ranked No. 74 in the world, posted a 6-2, 6-4 win over American Vania King in the semifinals.

Caroline Garcia

Garcia, the tournament’s fifth-seed, will next face Jelena Jankovic in the Claro Open Colsanitas championship match on Sunday.

It’s the first WTA final for Garcia, whose best previous result was a semifinal appearance in Acapulco back in February.

Garcia turned pro in 2011. Following her performance against Maria Sharapova at the 2011 French Open, only her second Grand Slam, Andy Murray tweeted that Garcia was destined to become world No. 1, and Martina Navratilova said, “She has the goods.”

Asked on Tennis Channel if she was looking at Garcia the way she had looked at Steffi Graf at the same age, Navratilova replied, “Absolutely!”

The 2014 Bogota titlist will earn $43,000.